WINTER PARK, Fla. – A man and woman were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of renting foreclosed Winter Park homes to families.
Natasha Ortiz, 28, of Winter Park, and David Rivas, 27, of Orlando, were arrested on charges of burglary, grand larceny and fraud.
According to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, the duo orchestrated a scam in which they rented out two Winter Park homes that did not belong to them, stealing more than $2,700 from unknowing renters.
Investigators believe Ortiz and Rivas identified 7540 Dockside Street and 1493 Hyde Park Drive in Winter Park as foreclosed properties and then broke into the residences and changed the locks. They then advertised the homes for sale on Craigslist and posted rent signs in the yards, deputies said.
According to deputies, Ortiz posed as a realtor for Sunrise Property Management, a nonexistent company, and met with families who were interested in renting the properties. She then collected cash for a security deposit and the first month's rent for the homes, deputies said.
Deputies said Ortiz used a fake name and provided the renters with a receipt and a rental contract.
Families moved in to both properties before realizing they were not authorized to live there, deputies said.
Ortiz and Rivas were booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility. Anyone who may have rented other properties from them is asked to call the Seminole County Sheriff's Office at 407-665-6650.