The Real Deal New York

Police: Wannabe squatter tried to break into Keith Rubenstein’s mansion

Suspected burglar allegedly hired a locksmith to help him squat in Rubenstein’s townhouse
By Eddie Small | October 19, 2017 09:00AM

Inga and Keith Rubenstein and their townhouse at 8 East 62nd Street (Credit: Getty Images and Zillow)

A would-be squatter attempted to break into developer Keith Rubenstein’s Upper East Side mansion to make the property his new home, police said.

Spencer Washington, 48, hired a locksmith and showed up to Rubenstein’s townhouse at 8 East 62nd Street around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday so that he could get inside the property and squat there, the New York Police Department said Wednesday.

The owners — Rubenstein and his wife Inga — were home at the time and called 911, and Washington has since been arrested and charged with burglary. It was not clear if Washington ever made it inside, police said.

Rubenstein’s company Somerset Partners is developing a massive waterfront project in the South Bronx. He listed his home for $84.5 million last February, one of the priciest listings in New York history, but has yet to sell the property.

Rubenstein could not immediately be reached for comment.

In New York City, squatter’s rights kick in after just 30 days. Afterward, the owner must initiate a legal eviction process, which can drag on and cost thousands of dollars.