The multimillion-dollar San Diego-area home of the late Major League Baseball batting champion Tony Gwynn, which was foreclosed last summer, is reportedly being occupied by a squatter.
The $2.3 million home in Poway, Calif., had been vacant from last June until December, when neighbors reported seeing people frequenting the residence and loading some barrels into the garage – which aroused suspicions of a methamphetamine lab, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Property management officials for the bank-owned property told the Union-Tribune that a man has been living in the house and they have begun civil eviction proceedings against him.
Gwynn, a Hall-of-Famer who played for the San Diego Padres from 1982 until 2001, was a .338 lifetime hitter who collected more than 3,000 hits during his career and was an All-Star 15 times. He died of cancer at age 54 in June 2014.
After his death, his family remained in the home until its foreclosure in June 2018, San Diego's KGTV-TV reported. The house went up for auction but no bidders emerged, leaving ownership to New York-based bank.
The squatter, who was not identified in the report because he has not been arrested, is still at the property but told authorities he would be gone by the weekend, despite supposedly “having the right” to be there.
By Wednesday afternoon, a fresh padlock and chain had replaced an old one to secure the property, the Union-Tribune reported. Authorities said their options are limited, given California's complicated squatter laws.
“We want to address the neighbor’s concerns, but we can’t just knock down the doors,” Poway Sheriff’s Lt. Christopher Collier said. “There are laws that we have to abide by and facts that have to be checked out.”
If the squatter “doesn’t move out, we may have to pay a bit more attention to that address,” added Collier.