Chalk up a small victory in Gotham’s war against squatters: Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is throwing the book at a particularly odious house thief. 

Lance White-Hunt and accomplice Rondie Francis tried to steal a Jamaica duplex from its rightful owners, a couple who’d put the place up for rent. 

When the owners called the cops on Larcenous Lance and his sidekick, the pair had the cojones to use fabricated documents from realtors and utility companies to back up their bogus claim.

They even used them (plus a Shake Shack receipt!) in a lawsuit against the actual owners, trying to prove the place was theirs. 

It would be a delirious, Kafkaesque black comedy if it weren’t an ugly reality. 

But Katz is hitting back, hard. 

Her office has brought an 18-count indictment — including charges of burglary and identity theft — that could land White-Hunt in prison for 15 years. 

Good: Squatting is a crime that strikes at the heart of the social contract.

It deprives hard-working citizens of their property, undermines faith in the law and destroys quality of life in afflicted nabes. 

It’s beyond vile that New York City’s insane laws have been interpreted as granting possession rights to squatters after 30 days and leaving the real owners no choice but a slog through our byzantine, backed-up court systems. 

It’s a symptom of the general love progressive electeds have for crooks. 

Yes, the recent state budget included a law targeting squatters, but critics say it may be unlikely to do all that much good because it failed to create a fast-track squatter removal process. 

The need for that is evident in the case of Brian Rodriguez, trying to steal the Queens home of Adele Andaloro (who was unjustly arrested for trying to change the locks): He just got an adjournment until July.

The clear answer here, given the glacial pace at which our lawmakers work, is exactly what Katz and the cops who arrested Hunt-White are doing. 

That is: deterrence, via a clear, uncompromising message that if you attempt to steal someone’s house out from under them, you will suffer appropriately. 

So good for the Queens DA. New Yorkers need more of this, as fast as possible

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