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A tough-on-crime Florida sheriff didn’t mince words when it came to squatters, promising to give the freeloaders a new place in the county jail if they try their “gimmicks” in his jurisdiction. 

“When you come to this community, and you violate the state laws, the people’s laws will lock you up,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in an interview with Fox News Digital. Judd, who has made headlines for telling gun-owning residents to turn robbers into “grated cheese,” oversees law enforcement for the 725,046 residents of Polk County. 

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Wednesday that eliminated squatters’ rights and increased penalties for offenders, becoming the first state to tackle the issue head-on, according to his administration. 

Judd said he supported DeSantis’ legislation as it would give clarity to other counties on what protocols they can employ to manage the problem. However, Judd said he was using existing robbery and trespassing laws to throw squatters into jail, and is perplexed why other states like New York and California aren’t doing the same. 

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“I think New York and California allowing them to stay for weeks, months, years or days – They’re just crazy,” he said. 

For example, the Polk County Sheriff’s office recently addressed a call from a realtor who had been showing a home and found squatters on the property. 

According to the sheriff, the squatters claimed that “it’s our house. No one was here, so we moved in.” 

“Well, we moved them out to the county jail and charged them with burglary. That’s why I don’t understand what the laws possibly could be that would allow people to unilaterally, illegally trespass, break into your home just because you weren’t there and take it over. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all,” he said.

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In contrast, New York resident Adel Andaloro was arrested for changing the locks on her Flushing, Queens, home after it was occupied by squatters. The home was an inheritance from her deceased parents, and she was in the process of trying to sell it. 

The sheriff said some states were encouraging criminal behavior. 

“Why are we letting a few people, a few deviants that want to violate the rules and not go along with society’s rules, which are known as laws? Why are we letting them run over and victimize the good people? It just makes no sense to me,” he said. “You disobey the law and I will be your worst enemy.” 

He continued, “The laws [in places like New York and California] are being changed to enable the criminal, to be a criminal, to encourage the criminal. And when a criminal can steal and get away with it, when a criminal can steal and not be held accountable or responsible, then not only do they do that, but others watch that and say, ‘Me, too.’”

Some district attorney attorneys, like Soros-backed Alvin Bragg’s chief prosecutor Meg Reiss, believe the criminal justice system is “racist” and that law enforcement has a role in making a systemic overhaul in society by selectively prosecuting crimes. 

Sheriff Grady Judd polk county

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“So one of the first things [to] do is change the language: ‘the bad dude.’ What does that mean? What are the circumstances of that person coming into the criminal justice system in the first place? And what is the background to that person?” she said in a 2017 interview.

The Florida sheriff said the idea the criminal justice system is racist is “fiction” and it makes him want to “throw up.” 

“It’s an idiot-ology that makes absolutely no sense, makes no sense at all,” Judd said. “We know that stealing someone else’s property or taking it against their will is not good. But this business about, ‘Oh, it’s racist. It’s not fair.’ That is just not accurate… It’s the same set of rules for everyone… You can either obey them and you’re good to go, or you can violate them and you’re held accountable.

“I just want to throw up when I hear people say, ‘Oh, but you know it’s just not fair to this group’ …It’s the same for everyone, young, old, White, Black, Brown. It’s what society has suggested through legislation mandated is normal, acceptable conduct. So we can all live in this beautiful democracy peacefully with each other and thrive and prosper,” he said. “But to suggest our system is broken is wrong, is racist, is not fair, is just not true. It’s fiction to say those things.”

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The sheriff said people residing in high-crime areas with leaders encouraging crime are at fault if they vote for those individuals. 

“If you live in California and New York, and you vote in the majority for the people who create those rules and regulations that let criminals out to victimize you, that’s on you. When you have to lock the underwear up at Wal-Mart in California, you got a problem. When Oregon just criminalizes their drugs that they decriminalized. It’s like, what did you think was going to happen when you decriminalized drugs? Are you all nuts? But hey, you keep a light to them. You’re gonna keep making crazy laws that favor criminals as opposed to favoring you. And one day, you’ll be a victim if you haven’t been already. It’s just that simple.”

The sheriff has made headlines for his frank commentary on crime, notably in 2020, instructing residents to shoot home invaders until they turn into “grated cheese.”

“I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns,” Judd said at the time. “I would highly suggest that if a looter comes into your home, breaks into your home while you’re there, to steal stuff, that you take your gun and you shoot him. You shoot him so that he looks like grated cheese.”

Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.

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