Calgary police have arrested a self-described Freeman-on-the-Land who had declared his rented property an embassy.
The man rented half of a duplex in Parkdale in the city’s northwest in November 2011 from pensioner Rebekah Caverhill.
The renter, who came from Montreal and said he was a handyman, convinced her to let him make improvements on the property in exchange for three months’ rent.
A few months later, Caverhill discovered the man, who goes by several aliases, had changed the locks on the house.
The man had also gutted the kitchen and bathroom, removed all the inside doors and painted the master bedroom black, she said.
When Caverhill confronted him, he told her he was a Freemen-on-the-Land and that the house was now an embassy.
Freemen are self-styled "sovereign citizens" who have — in their view — freed themselves from the restrictions and conspiracies of government.
She later received an invoice from the renter's personal company for $26,000 in work done to the home and a notice from the Land Titles Office that a $17,000-lien had been put on the house.
A lien is a form of security interest granted over an item of property to secure the payment of a debt or performance of some other obligation.
Earlier this week, Caverhill was finally able to get a Calgary judge to order the man out of her property by Friday.
It was also revealed that the man is wanted by authorities in Montreal in connection with an assault against his former landlady in that city.
And Calgary police said they were consulting Crown lawyers to see whether they could lay criminal charges against him.
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