Dallas city officials say they’re pretty much powerless to stop a man who’s described himself as a “real estate cat burglar” from obtaining homes from poor people under the guise of adverse possession and reselling them to unsuspecting buyers.

Douglas T. “Chase” Fonteno has flouted real estate law, but city officials say they can only assess fees for misdemeanor code violations.

“The real authority rests in the hands of District Attorney Craig Watkins to address legal issues raised by the unsubstantiated deed claims Fonteno has filed in county records, his threats of foreclosure when house occupants don’t pay, and his strong-arm eviction tactics,” the Dallas Morning News complains in an editorial.

So far, prosecutors haven’t lifted a finger to put the brakes on Fonteno’s activities, the newspaper said. Source: dallasnews.com.

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