Squatter found living in Lewes-area home

January 13, 2024

A Lewes man faces charges Jan. 12 after police say homeowners checking on their second home west of Lewes found him living there.

The homeowners went to check on their residence about 5:30 p.m. when they found John Wanner, 57, inside their home in the 34000 block of Clematis Street, police said. Wanner fled when he saw them, leaving behind three cats and three dogs. Police said a glass door was broken, the TV was on, and there was food on the stove when Wanner fled. There was also animal waste throughout the home, police said.

During the search, police said, a trooper saw Wanner running through the woods, but he refused to stop despite repeated commands. Police arrested him after a brief foot pursuit and found him with burglary tools, a dagger, and a folding knife.

A former neighbor who had recently sold his home identified Wanner, police said. While canvassing the surrounding area, police said they found a home with a broken door, but there was no evidence of entry.

Wanner was transported to Troop 7 where he was charged with possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, second-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, theft of services, resisting arrest, two counts of criminal mischief, and criminal trespass. He was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $77,250 cash bond.


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