Article Courtesy of My Panhandle
By Kirsten Mitchell
Published November 19, 2018
MILLVILLE -- You've no doubt heard a few horror stories about people, forced
to leave their homes due to damage from Hurricane Michael.
Now there's one that has also turned into a mystery.
Residents at Bayou Pointe Villas in Millville, claim a
restoration company has taken their property without their permission.
"At the time we showed up it was okay, it was damaged but the unit was
probably repairable," said condo owner Jeff Smith.
Jeff Smith planned to repair his Bayou Pointe Villa condominium unit himself
but he never got the chance. He said a man wearing a Lincoln Hancock
Restoration shirt showed up and said FEMA deemed their building
uninhabitable and Smith would have to remove his property.
"The representative told me if it wasn't taken out by us, it was going to be
taken out by a sledgehammer," said Smith.
Many of the 28 units are now stripped of the walls,
floors, furniture, even some appliances.
Owner Sandra Justice claims crews gutted her home, despite little to no
"It's just heartless for somebody to come and do what they've done here with
out our permission or our knowledge," said Justice.
Jackie Barnette lives on social security and couldn't afford to remove his
items, including family heirlooms.
"I told them I couldn't get it out, there was no way I could by Saturday and
they said well were going to take it," said Barnette.
Some residents said they saw workers neatly pack the property into trucks
and drive away.
"If something is taken from your unit without permission does that not
constitute as theft?" said Smith.
Burg Management, which manages the complex, hired Lincoln Hancock. A Burg
vice president said Lincoln Hancock crews don't have the authority to remove
personal items unless the owner requests help. He said there was a third
party maintenance crew there the same day.
But no one seems to know what happened to the condo owners' property.
Barnette checks on his place a few times a week but he can't get inside. The
door is broken and there's a new lock keeping him out.
"I dunno, it just, it just hurts," said Barnette.
And even if he could move back, he has nothing to fill his home.
"You know it's starting over again, at 74-years-old," said Barnette.