It seems that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing at least one New York landlord to take some extreme measures to collect rent.

According to a report by the Albany Times Union, an Albany County landlord has been arrested and is accused of breaking into his tenants' apartment in the middle of the night, tying them up, and dumping their tied up bodies in a snow-filled rural cemetery.

It's alleged that Shawn Douglas, a 48-year-old property owner in Albany, and two unknown associates illegally entered the apartment on the south side of Albany with firearms. While in the apartment, they tied up the two people who were inside sleeping with tape and zip ties, covered their heads with pillowcases, and drove them out to the country at gunpoint. During the kidnapping, they were beaten before being forced outside in the cold and left in the cemetery.

Douglas, who owns a multifamily apartment, was apparently frustrated that he has not been receiving rent and he has not been able to evict these tenants due to coronavirus. One of the victims found a way to free themselves from being tied up and was able to find a home near the cemetery where they asked for help.

The two victims, a 32-year-old man, and a 21-year-old woman have not been identified and were not able to be reached for comment.

Douglas was booked with multiple charges, including 2nd-degree kidnapping. He is being held in the Albany County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Police officials in Albany have not released any additional information about this incident.

Times are hard for everyone, but what could bring someone to do something so depraved. There are assistance programs all throughout New York State that could assist with the rent bills that are due.

If you, or someone you know, need help with rent, or if you're a landlord who is struggling, the City of Buffalo has announced a new program that might be able to help. You can read about it here.

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