Squatter Found Living In $625K House

MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) — A 43-year-old man from Wilmerding must have fallen in love with a house in an upscale community of Murrysville.

Once he saw it, he decided to stay with no money down and no signed agreement.

Frederick Cooper Harris III decided to squat.

According to police, a real estate agent showed Harris the house Tuesday. Later he came back, broke a garage door window, took down the “for sale” sign and moved in with a sleeping bag and groceries.

The price tag on the house is $625,000.

“I think he thought if he took the sign out of the yard, then the house was off the market and nobody would come knocking,” Howard Hanna Agent Donna Howland said.

But the next day, a handyman came by, saw Harris and called police. Harris went quietly, but initially claimed the real estate agent gave him a key and told him he could stay there. That was a lie.

Harris now calls the Westmoreland County Prison home.

  • Sara Sams

    This is becoming common these days Squatters are becoming a Big problem. Thank goodness the handy man came by.

    • Daryn Guarino

      Oh yes, thank goodness. Otherwise that man would have slept indoors for another night! How terrible!

    • icareuknow

      why not, the banks are taking homes from many people that have fallen on hard times, at least he has taste!

      • Kendra

        So true!!!

    • noangel

      It’s not the squatter’s that are the problem, it’s the government. You think because it hasn’t affected you it doesn’t exist? Million’s of people all over this great land of ours have lost their jobs, their homes, and their dignity. Good men, women, and children in our country are starving and dying all around us. It’s time to wake up and take a really good look at what is going on around us. We should be helping each other instead of pointing fingers and thinking “it’s not affecting me”, because tomorrow, it could be you.

      • VoodooIdol

        What does any of that have to do with the government? You should be barking up the corporate tree – those who are reaping record profits and massive salaries while laying off employees – the people that made them those profits and salaries.

      • Maria

        Yes, I agree with you noangel, life is full of uncertainty. Share whatever you have today, maybe tomorrow is too late. People suffering of hunger and no homes needs help, they are not criminals, the people around who can help must be more sensitive, understand and open their heart to people in need. Every minute and every seconds I pray to almight God, there will be a turn around in the economy, miracle happens and God still in control. All we need is to ask and be thankful, I believe it will come.

      • 91rete8

        It is NOT the government it is the MONEY hungry banks oe outfits the that call themselves “banks”

      • Kendra

        Couldn’t have said it better. This poor man is called a criminal while you sit in your warm home surfing the web. Is what this man did REALLY that bad?? Did he hurt anyone? Meanwhile, we have loan and credit card companies raping the US and not doing a minute of time in jail.

    • mannymoto

      A sign of the times. No surprise here.

  • James

    “Squatter”….another euphemism for trespassing/breaking and entering.

  • LOL


  • Mommy

    From what I’ve been reading, this is a huge problem in other cities. We will prob see more of this.

    • Kendra

      Forget murder and rape! This crime is becoming a HUGE problem. I say we let all the killers go to make room for alll of the homeless people looking for shelter. How dare they try to take a piece of my American Pie!

      • ryan prescod

        he must be a whiteman because no one is saying “this lazy-ass guy needs to find a job and stop mooching off people”

      • aarob

        I agree

  • Ryan

    People work hard to afford any home, let alone a home of this price, and this jerk thinks he can live there for free. What a punk.

    • crabman

      no mirrors your house i see

  • mark

    Seems like no one that commented so far has bothered to put themselves in his shoes……When someone has no roof over their head they go into survival mode, its not like he hurt anyone.
    And so Ryan, are you saying that people that can’t afford a home don’t work hard?
    Just an observation but it seems the poorer someone is the harder they have to work just to survive, and the richer someone is, the less they do, and the more arrogant they are. Not to mention, selfish and self centered because they just want more and more and more more more……anything to make believe the suffering in the world won’t ever affect them.

    • Lionstar

      Well said

    • Jacques

      Beautifully said, Mark!

    • George

      Well the Point here is Mark is THAT HE BROKE THE %$#^&*( LAW I dont care how much he gone into surviival mode .And by the way we dont need to walk in that fools shoes he a grown man there are places for him to have a roof over his head . And by the way you fool he is hurting someone who going to pay for the repair of the window NOT HIM who going to paid for him to be housed in the lockup NOT HIM who going to pay for him going to court NOT HIM who going to pay for the lawer NOT HIM and as far as the rich get richer ect if you dont like it get out the US there noting incorrect about being rich .A man has a rigth in the US to make money and use it as he or she see fit it why would even be talking about how rich folks are when this is about this fool camping out at a house thats not his like he had the damm rigth what is the matter with you even trying to justtify his action

      • crabman

        don’t get out much do you georgie

      • KNMOM

        Nice grammar George….you are pathetic.

      • Michelle Allen

        WOW! That is the worst use of grammar I have seen in a long time. You are obviously a repub or a teabagger, since they seem to believe education is “elitist”.

      • ygiuohi

        george….. you, comment-hero.

      • kdizzle

        Rock on, George, rock on…

      • Chris S

        I agree with George. What right does he have to cause damage to the property, trespass and shack up in a property that isn’t his, remove the sign from the lawn to try and decieve people into thinking this home was no longer on the market?

        He should be sitting in jail. And for all you people attacking George over his “grammar”…GET A LIFE. If that’s the best you’ve got to pick on him for. At least his head isn’t so far up his A55 that he can’t see the light of day.

  • Rj

    No mark, In America, the harder you work, the less help you get. If your struggling to work and barely getting buy, you’re still “making too much” for assistance.

    Unfortunately in this sad country, the poorer someone is, the more they get handed to them.

    • icareuknow

      amen brother/sister!

    • DC1001

      “Unfortunately in this sad country, the poorer someone is, the more they get handed to them.”

      At the expense of those trying to ‘get by.’

  • jd

    ^ this “gurllllll” obviously has never worked for anything in her life. I guess people in section 8 housing think they can just move in to upscale homes without paying… I dont think that your welfare check would be able to pay one mortgage payment on “DIS” house.

  • Ryan

    Well, Mark, I’ll have YOU know, I am smack in the middle class, and I work hard for every penny I earn to support my family. So this offends me more than if I were rich. My wife and I work our tails off to buy a home to live in, and this jackhole breaks into an empty one for free. Yes that makes me mad.

    Survival mode should be, GET A DANG JOB.

    Nice ASSumption, Mark, that I was rich. You are WRONG.

    • Linda

      Talk about ASSsumptions, Ryan, you fool. Many people who work a DANG JOB, sometimes more than one DANG job, are still homeless. Be as mad as you want, but are you really as clueless as your post?

      • Ryan

        Linda, I seriously doubt people who work TWO jobs are homeless. And you’re really telling me there’s people who wake up from under a bridge and trot of to their 9-5? REALLY?

        If you mean the people who live in public housing, fine, if you consider that homeless, you win your arguement. And meanwhile continue to feel bad for this guy who broke the law.

      • Kendra

        IT’s true. You can work two jobs and STILL be completely broke. Hard work does not equal success and riches. America just isn’t that way anymore, sadly.

  • donovan

    this guy did break the law, needs to pay for his crime but don’t kick him in the head for being homeless

    • Ryan

      No where in the article did it say he was homeless.

      • Jason B.

        You’re right. It does not. He must of been using it as his weekend getaway.

  • Kdon

    Is he not entitled to have a home ? Have the Gov. write a check!

  • GGEE

    I love this story. Glad he got a little of what it is like to live rich. I can’t believe how many of you GET SO MAD THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. That is what is wrong with this beautiful country. We have mad, mad, mad folks for everything. MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD. You all make me sick. They guy got caught and now he is paying for what he did. Leave it alone before you all get heart attacks. Mad is what DOGS get. get it. WHAT, NO LOVE FOR ANYONE???

    • Lock him up

      And now he gets a taste of Bubba in the slammer.

    • Linda


    • Bostonian


      All you folks bickering with one another about an article (or someone’s comments) that does not even remotely affect you, GET OVER YOURSELVES.

      Read it, process it, & move on…check yourselves before you wreck yourselves.

      • cjm

        I think you and the posters mean that you are angry, not mad? Or maybe you all are mad, as a hatter?

      • pookergirl

        Hahaha! Great reply Bostonian! I’m crackin!

  • Amy

    Ryan: yes, the guy did break the law. We are middle class as well. Thankfully, my husband has a steady job, but I’ve been out of work (and I’m college educated) for two years. We’re struggling, and my daughter wants to go to college next year. I have no idea how that’s going to happen, even with loans. We won’t be able to take out a loan because we barely have enough money to get by each month, let alone re-pay a monthly loan. Sometimes groceries go on the credit card; we have no savings. And when one of our cars needs repairs, it goes on the credit card…and up goes the balance. Shame on you to tell this guy to “get a DANG job” – all the DANG jobs are in India. If your head was out of your ass you’d know that and you’d know how bad things are in this economy. You must be doing very well, and I’m glad that you are. But have some sympathy and compassion for those who aren’t, rather than being so mean and judgmental.

    • Ryan

      Yeah Amy, I’m the same boat as you, our credit cards are higher than we want, we have two car payments, and two student loans still after 10+ years. I have young children to provide for. I am fortunate to have a home even with all this, I certainly would not catagorize myself as doing “well”. Doing “OK” would be a better description. I have plenty of sympathy for the struggling when the observe the laws. When they don’t, I no longer have sympathy, because now, guess what, WE pay for his court costs, and the cost for him to be incarcerated. So guess what, now he has free food and lodging in jail, all at the TAXPAYER’S (like us) expense.

      I’m still waiting to hear the word “homeless” in this article, by the way.

      • Ryan

        Also, Amy, my company has been consistantly hiring for the last 2 years… So all the jobs are NOT in India.

  • Navyvet8192

    Yes, he broke the law… Yes, he broke a window… With that said, it’s a proven fact that homes do better materially if someone is occupying them. I’ve mentioned before to bank friends of mine that they ought to take people who live in shelters,.. etc. and offer them an opportunity to live in a foreclosed home until it is sold on the market. Make an arrangement with the defacto squatters that if they maintain the home in good condition and agree to vacate 30 days after the home is sold, they move to the top of the list to get into another foreclosed home. Sure the bank would be out a little money for basic utilities/trash and rent, but I’ve seen repair costs on these nice homes go into the 10’s of thousands. It’s a small price to pay to have a 2/3 of a million dollar home looked after by someone who would actually care! Just some outside of the box thinking.

    • luckyone

      That is an excellent suggestion from navyvet about allowing displaced people temporarily live in empty homes , as long as they are properly vetted and the furniture iddue resolved.

  • Amy

    Navyvet8192 – my husband is a Navy vet too – USS America, 1970 – 1974 (stationed in Norfolk, Med tour) – thank you for your service to our country!

  • Kim

    @ Amy, McDonalds is always hiring, as well as a HELP WANTED sign in just about every gas station/convience store in every neighborhood. If you wanted a job, you could find one, even if its not in your field! I agree with the others, this MORON is wrong, no two ways about it! Their are shelters if he needed a warm place to stay, someone is paying for that house, if it was my house, I would be PI$$ed off!! I dont work my a$$ off everyday to pay for loosers who think something is owed to them! Its bad enough my tax $ have to pay for welfare!

    • Heather

      And McDonald’s would likely tell her she is too qualified. They told that to a friend of mine who has an Assoc in Criminal Justice who would LOVE to work @ McDonald’s flipping burgers to get her out of the house she is living in right now cause that is the only good thing about my friend’s situation. It is a roof over her head. To Amy keep trying, hope that you find some work and that your daughter can get some scholarships or some help with college.

    • Kendra

      oooh Kim. You make me LOL. Your ignorance is blatant. What city/town do you live in? I don’t see ANYONE hiring in my town. Gasp! no! Not even McDonald’s!!

      • jeeperz

        I agree with Kim. Ive come across numerous businesses with help wanted signs out. It may not be your 1st choice but it puts food on the table and a roof over your head until you find what you want.

        And yes, these jobs are in and around the Pgh area. Look at the want ads in the Sunday paper.

  • luckyone

    Unfortunately shelters are not a good option for white male military veterans because they are usually ran by women and minorities whom openly allow racism and verbal abuse against white heterosexual males. I was in that situation after 911 and wound up spending several months living outside while waiting for the unemployment office to stop stone walling me on benefits. I noticed that there was over two dozen illegal aliens living in that shelter thoug without any problem at al.

  • MattGMD

    Wish all my ‘houseguests’ would bring their own groceries. The guy can’t be all that bad.

  • Kim

    A real model citizen…..just another piece of trash, trying to get things handed to him, instead of working for it!


  • 802

    Dear KENDRA – Please move to Wisconsin – the commies there need you more that PA does

  • ryan

    love stories like this, it makes reading and life worth living, instead of programmed football robots or dropping bombs on people we’ve never heard of because some old white men tell some 21 year old to do it A squatter with panache and style is a rare breed, I love it!!!!

  • John Wolf

    Why do poople always blame someone else? It’s the government, it’s the banks, its someone else. Did the government force you to buy the house? Did the bank MAKE you take the loan. Does the gov’t owe you a job? NO!!!! . Why is it the bank’s fault cause YOU can’t pay the loan? What are they suppose to do? Give it to you free? That’s the trouble with some of you, always think someone else is to blame for YOUR poor decisions. I’ve got news for you. It’s your fault, Not the govt’ or the bank. You signed the papers and you agreed to make payments. YOU!!! This guy broke into a house. He should be charged accordingly.


    We as a society owed this to the brother. The brother felt entitlement because of all the years the black man has suffered from oppression from the white man. Poor guy didn’t have any furniture either, white man took it with him.

    • Bob

      This is what I call a humorous comment. I find some people will blanme each others nationality, relegion etc for the reason some poor sap made a wrong decision. We all know that every racde has its good and bad people and they are seperated by what we call them. There are Black people and there are N*****s, there are hispanic and there are Spicks, there are Whites and there are trailer trash etc etc. Stop blaming other races for what a person has chosen or were they are as people from all races have become role models in life, this dude was just a lazy, loafer who again wanted something for nothing.

  • Terence Cole

    Think about who benefits from this guy being arrested. Who was he hurting. And of what benefit to society is it that he is in jail. And of what possible good is jail anyway. Wow, what an important news article! That the article is written by and for the well to do is obvious from the title which includes the price tag of the house, as if it was such a terrible criminal act because the house was worth more than one such a person should be in, in the first place.

  • Jerry

    Well I am tired of carrying and supporting people who don’t want to carry their weight. We have turned this society into a ‘WE’ are owed and this is another shining example of this is my right to just break into a house empty or not and setup home without paying a dime. I am hitting fifty and worked since mid high school and if we don’t stop having bleeding hearts and just support those who give nothing back, then we can kiss this great nation good bye, just like every other empires that have fallen in the past.

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