Woman arrested, says squatting in Kirkland a political statement

This Kirkland house in the Market neighborhood is at the heart of an ownership dispute. First Citizens and Trust bank, which claims ownership, has evicted a family that moved into the house on Friday. - Carrie Wood, Kirkland Reporter
This Kirkland house in the Market neighborhood is at the heart of an ownership dispute. First Citizens and Trust bank, which claims ownership, has evicted a family that moved into the house on Friday.
— image credit: Carrie Wood, Kirkland Reporter

Kirkland Police arrested a 30-year-old woman suspected of squatting in a $3.2 million waterfront home in Kirkland.

Jill E. Lane was arrested at the home, located at 435 Eighth Ave. West, and booked in the City of Kirkland jail on Tuesday, June 15. She was charged with criminal trespass.

The Market neighborhood house was at the center of a dispute between Lane, a Bellevue real estate agent and the bank.

The woman, who moved into the home more than a week ago, told police and neighbors that she owned the home. The women showed police false documents when they came to the house to investigate on June 6, said Kirkland Detective Allan O’Neill.

A thorough investigation of tax logs, utility bills and asset records revealed that First Citizens Bank is the lawful owner of the home, police say. The bank served the woman an eviction notice last week and on June 8, Kirkland Police arrived at the residence with bank officials to assist in returning the home back over to the bank. A security firm, Central Protection, is now watching the house for the bank.

When police arrived, Lane was not in the house, but arrived a short time later and sources confirmed that she had a black eye and a broken cheek bone. The cause of the injuries were unknown. She was arrested for criminal trespass and booked into jail.

Lane submitted an offer to purchase the home for the list price just after moving in, but First Citizen’s Bank rejected the offer because Lane would have paid using a bonded promissory note.

In an interview with KIRO radio Lane said that her actions were partly a political statement against the banking system.

“This is to make a statement that the banks can get away with anything,” said Lane. “It is a demonstration on behalf of homeowners who are being forced out of their homes.”

Lane asserted that the home was turned over to a religious charity called “Priority Rose Childrens Outreach,” which was incorporated just two weeks ago.

During the interview with KIRO, Lane said that she paid some money for the house but declined to say how much or who was helping her with the “acquisition” of the home. She also stated that she was in the process of changing the utilities into her name and acquiring insurance for the home when she was arrested.

When pressed about who she thinks owns the home Lane said that the original developer, who lost the home through foreclosure, has the most right to the home. Lane said that she does not know who the original developer is.

Records show that the home was foreclosed on in 2008 and Venture Bank took over the property. First Citizens’ Bank eventually bought Venture Bank when it went bankrupt.

While Lane was the only one arrested in the case, her two children and a man, James Grenz, were also seen at the home prior to her arrest. Grenz and Lane co-own the Urban Tanning Spa in Puyallup. Records also show that Lane filed for bankruptcy in February and during the interview said she is a private educator along with owning the business. Lane spent 10 years in commercial banking and most recently worked for Wells Fargo.

She also admitted that even if she acquired the home, she could not pay the taxes.

Lane and Grenz previously lived in an apartment in Bothell with the two kids, according to sources.

Police are still investigating the involvement of Grenz and a Bothell real estate agent who was fired from Keller Williams in connection with the case.

Neighbors are relieved

Neighbors in the Market neighborhood are relieved that the couple is out of the multi-million dollar home.

“It was unsettling not knowing their background,” said Katie Wild, a daytime nanny in the neighborhood. “The security guards have been open in letting us know what was going on.”

Wild said that she was apprehensive to let the children play in the front yard during the past week-and-a-half. The children’s parents also checked in on Wild and the kids more often.

“It was a little scary cause when they got a little more aggressive and came to the door with a bat,” said Wild of reports that Grenz intimidated other neighbors with a bat when they showed up on the home’s doorstep.

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