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Homeless Moorhead Man Arrested For Trespassing & Burglary

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A 26-year old man is in jail tonight, arrested for trespassing in Moorhead after going in to an empty home for shelter.

Zachary Payne will also face charges of burglary. Police say he was found with items stolen from another property just a few days ago.

But how often does squatting happen here, and what should you do if you see it?

"Certainly he has no right to be at that property, the property owner didn't give him the right to go in," says Lt. Tory Jacobson of the Moorhead Police Department.

Zachary Payne was arrested on the 14 hundred block of 13 1/2 Street North in Moorhead shortly before 11pm Wednesday night.

Police surrounded the home before Payne was taken out without incident. Payne has no listed permanent address.

"It was a homeless individual looking for a place to stay," says Lt. Jacobson.

In this case, the burglary charge, Payne was found with clothes and other items from another home, makes this offense more serious than the trespassing alone.

It's an offense that, despite the many properties going up in our area, is quite infrequent.

"I don't think this is a common problem and in this case it was dealt with efficiently," says Lt. Jacobson.

It is however something that Lt. Jacobson says should keep neighbors on the look out.

The police offer a house check program if you do plan on leaving your home empty for an extended period of time.

To apply, go to Moorhead Police's website here:

Brian Abel
Brian joined WDAZ in October of 2014, after reporting and anchoring at WDAY in Fargo since October 2013. He currently co-anchors the 6 and 10pm WDAZ News weekdays, and co-anchors the Saturday 6 and 10pm WDAY/WDAZ simulcast news. He was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Journalism. Brian has traveled across the country as a spokesperson for the automotive industry. He has also lived in Los Angeles, working in entertainment before pursuing his career in broadcasting. It’s experiences like these that give him a unique perspective when reporting. Brian is a Michigan Wolverines fan with an avid interest in politics and golf.  He is thrilled to be sharing stories with the Greater Grand Forks community working at WDAZ and looks forward to hearing any of your comments, concerns and story ideas.