Tempe takes possession of ‘squatter’ property

By Richard Ruelas | The Republic

Steve Sussex heard from his wife on Monday morning that the city had moved bulldozers and other heavy equipment onto the property near downtown Tempe that he had fought a losing battle to claim as his ancestral birthright.

Sussex drove onto the land as naturally as one would pull into their own carport. Except, this time he was met by police officers and city officials, who told him he was trespassing.

It was the violation that the city of Tempe and the state of Arizona claimed Sussex’s ancestors had committed since they moved into the adobe house in the 1890s.

On Monday, as tow trucks prepared to hoist a boat and a motor home and bulldozers lifted debris into trash bins, Sussex was ordered to leave or face arrest.

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