What would you do to defend your pet pig?
Upon entering a Florida home recently, authorities could have been forgiven for thinking that a pair of squatters was prepared to use grenades and firearms to guarantee their swine's safety.
After being called in by an out-of-state homeowner, Miami TV station WPLG
reports, a bomb squad entered a home there Tuesday to an astonishing find
: cocaine, a handgun, marijuana, 10 hand grenades and one pig.
"The grenades have been taken to a laboratory to see if in fact they are active. But that's still under investigation," Sgt. Freddie Cruz told another Miami-area station, WTVJ
A man and a woman reportedly were squatting in the home, and now both face drug and weapons charges.
Squatting cases have soared in recent years
due to the foreclosed and vacant homes that have flooded the market as a result of the housing meltdown. Often banks purposely keep the homes off the market in order to avoid driving down prices. That leaves homes unattended for months at a time, and ripe for illegal occupation.
That can set the stage for surprising discoveries. But such discoveries are by no means exclusive to co-opted homes. Some recent ones include:
• A "vacant" house in California that concealed an extensive marijuana-growing operation which was discovered after the home caught fire
• A man who revealed the fact that he'd been harboring 94 hamsters
in his apartment before he surrendered them to an animal shelter.
• A Michigan family who uncovered a skeleton in a hidden space of their attic
• A Florida man was found dead surrounded by a swarm of 60,000 bees
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