MEMPHIS, Tenn. — James Leonard never thought complete strangers would turn his garage into their home. He uses the Berclair house on Lynne Avenue as a rental property, and only comes by once a week to maintain the yard.
However, when he showed up on Wednesday, he found a giant hole in his backyard shed. Then when he went to his garage, which is also in the back, he saw that the lower panels on the door had been smashed and someone had been sleeping on his couch.
"There were extension cords plugged in, and right here were two camping chairs, like tailgate chairs, and a fan sitting on top of the paint cans," Leonard said.
He then made a gross discovery. His cooler next to the couch was filled with feces.
"A roll of paper towels was in front of it. I was just shocked. I don't know what to say."
The young woman currently renting the house from him was shocked too.
"She didn't stay here last night," he said. "She's a little shaken, but she's a pretty tough woman."
Leonard called police and watched from the bushes for hours Wednesday night. He was waiting for the squatters to come back but they never did.
"They were crazy enough to squat, and use my electricity, and use the cooler as a restroo. So they may be crazy enough to come back."
If they do, they'll find a no trespassing sign and new security lights he put up. In the end, he's grateful his young tenant didn't get hurt.
"It certainly could have been worse."