Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara reports the arrest of Hubert A. John, 39, of Los Angeles, after he took possession of a vacant Newark home on Thursday, June 17.
According to police, officers responded to a burglary call in the 100-block of Ivy Street at approximately 12 p.m.
Responding officers located the homeowner who reported that four males that she did not know were claiming to have legal residency of her vacant property and had changed the locks.
Police said that when she and a locksmith approached the home, they were stopped by the unknown males, who presented paperwork indicating that they held legal residency.
Police said that officers requested the documentation from the four suspects, who claimed to be sovereign citizens of the Al Moroccan Empire and that their status permitted them access to the property.
Officers verified that the victim had, in fact, purchased the home in February. The homeowner reported to the police that the home is currently vacant. She was there visiting it in preparation for making renovations.
After police informed the suspects that they could not remain in the property, they left.
According to police, at approximately 2:40 p.m., one of the suspects, Hubert A. John, returned before the homeowner’s locksmith could change the locks. John used a key and entered the home before placing a Moorish flag in the window.
Newark Police Emergency Services Unit was dispatched, entered the property and took John into custody. There were no weapons used by the suspect. He faces charges of criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass and terroristic threats.