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Fighting back against homeless encampments in Las Vegas

84-year-old finds stranger in kitchen
Posted: 11:35 PM, May 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-08 12:59:21Z

13 Action News is speaking with officials about how you can clear homeless encampments in your neighborhood.

"It's a valley-wide problem. It's Henderson, Las Vegas," said Commissioner Christina R. Giunchigliani.

Commissioner Giunchigliani says panhandling isn't a crime, However, being in possession of a shopping cart is a different story. In that case, police can take action.

"Those are stolen property," she said.

People living near Sloan and Bonanza spoke to 13 Action News after battling an encampment in that area. Neighbors woke up to tents and shopping carts near their yard.

"She was right there, right in my face," said Cherie Fosmo.

According to the Fosmo family, a homeless woman who frequents the area broke into their home Saturday night. 

She was discovered in the kitchen making a sandwich.

"It just scares me that somebody can just come in the house," said Howard Fosmo.

The 84-year-old says the incident has shattered his sense of safety.

"When my pension comes in I am going to go arm myself," he said.

Commissioner Giunchigliani says you should immediately contact code enforcement and police when you see tents pop up in your streets.  Do not confront strangers.

"We're just as frustrated," she said, "I've had two encampments on my block for the last six months."

She says the goal is to get people help from charities and non-profit organizations.

"Don't take food to the parks," she said, "that's not going to get people the help that they need."