2 Neighbors Hold New Buyers of REO at Gunpoint

It wasn’t exactly the welcoming response from the neighborhood a couple expected when they tried to enter a home they just purchased which had been in foreclosure. Their two new neighbors held them hostage at gunpoint.

Jean-Joseph Kalonji, 61, and his wife Angelica, 57, arrived at the home their son had just purchased to have the locks changed. But two men suddenly came up behind them as they were trying to get into the home, and pointed semi-automatic rifles at their backs.

"Shut up or I'll shoot," the men reportedly told the couple, having the couple lift their arms over their heads.

The men — a neighbor and his teenage son — had thought a robbery was in progress at the foreclosed home, which had stood vacant for several months. The men thought they were saving the day.

The couple claimed to be the new owners but couldn’t produce the closing paperwork so the men contacted police as they kept the couple held at gunpoint. The police arrested the couple, and they were sent to jail, charged with loitering and prowling.

The neighbors — Robert Canoles and his son — had been praised by police for busting what everyone assumed was a foiled robbery.

However, the tables turned when the couple and their son proved they were actually the new owners of the home. The charges against the couple were dropped, and the men now face charges for holding their new neighbors at gunpoint. The two men were arrested and charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal trespass.

Meanwhile, the couple’s son, Bruno Kalonji, says "we're waiting to move" into the home, but "we're still afraid of what the guy next door might do."

Source: “Newton County Neighbors Charged After Home Buyers’ Arrests,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (April 24, 2012)