Man Says Squatter Made Himself at Home on Yacht - NBC Chicago

Man Says Squatter Made Himself at Home on Yacht

"It smelled bad because he couldn't figure out how to work the toilet but he was using it," said Ramon Beaulieu

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    Man Says Squatter Made Himself at Home on Yacht

    Ramon Beaulieu wants to see additional security at Diversey Harbor after he discovered that someone was living on his boat while he was away. NBC Chicago's Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Friday, June 5, 2015)

    A Chicago boat owner said he wants to see extra security at Diversey Harbor, where he lives during the summer months, after coming home from a business trip early Friday and discovering the signs of an unwelcome guest.

    "I noticed right away there was all the bedding I had just cleaned a couple days ago was all filthy all over the floor," Ramon Beaulieu told NBC Chicago. "The boat was absolutely trashed."

    Beaulieu said he also noticed items that weren't his -- shoes and pants -- and quickly realized that whoever had been there was now wearing his clothes. Food stored on the boat was missing, and there were other signs that someone had spent a lot of time there.

    "It smelled bad because he couldn't figure out how to work the toilet but he was using it," said Beaulieu. 

    Afraid to go to sleep after the 4 a.m. discovery, Beaulieu called 911, and responding officers spent the morning gathering evidence. Beaulieu said officials told him there's already a solid lead: whoever stayed there left behind some paperwork with a name on it. 

    "He just got released from jail. His name was on it, so I looked it up on Google and found out some information," Beaulieu said. "Once I realized that, I realized I was dealing with a real criminal."

    Currently, the only physical barrier between the boats and the public are two gates with keypad locks, but Beaulieu said the gates would be easy for someone to scale, and wouldn't be surprised if the codes were widely shared.

    Beaulieu said he'd like to see security cameras installed along the slips.

    "We're paying taxes. We pay a lot for the slips. There's power down here. There's WiFi. They can run wireless cameras and that would take care of everything. They'd see the guy coming and going," he said. 

    The general manager of Westrec, the company which manages the city's harbors, said additional security would be placed in the area in the days ahead. Camera installation, he said, would be costly but is being considered.

    The Chicago Police Department said no one was in custody in connection with the case, which they were treating as a criminal trespass incident, as of 10 p.m.

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