LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Two years ago, Mirka Coleman bought a home in a gated Summerlin community.
She and her son Martin spend most of their time in Los Angeles but she planned to eventually retire in Las Vegas and live full-time in the home.
However, this week, the mother-son duo were startled to find their home was being used as a residence for a couple of squatters.
"I saw this woman in my kitchen," said Martin, after catching a stranger on his in-home security camera. "She was walking around with a dog, and I was like, "what is going on?"
Martin saw the woman walk up to the camera, take a close look and flip the camera to face the window. He called his friend to check on the home and the police for help.
Martin says police told him they couldn't remove the couple from what is his mother's legal residence. Instead, they had to go to the courthouse and begin the process of formally evicting them.
"Someone could leave a toothbrush in your property and then they have the right to stay?" asked Martin. "In my opinion, how is the owner protected? You're the owner of the property - you pay for your gas bills, electricity bills, water bill, trash bill and HOA fees and then all of a sudden, someone puts a toothbrush in your house they have the right to stay here?"
The Coleman's quickly made their way from LA to Vegas to find the entire home - from the garage to the master bedroom - taken over by a man and a woman.
There were garbage bags piled high in the garage, a clothing rack outside the master bedroom and a refrigerator packed with food.
The Coleman's said their homeowner's headache began a couple of months ago when Martin gave an acquaintance the go-ahead to spend one day in the home.
"Apparently he was getting a divorce, and he was living in hotels. So, you know, I have a heart. I was like, "that's stinks - getting divorced," Martin said.
But Martin, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after getting into a car wreck eight years ago, said he was taken advantage of by the man, who he met through a friend at the gym. The man stopped responding to Martin's calls and texts, and now, it's come to this situation.
"I would love just to take everything out, put it in the dumpster, change the locks and go back home to LA. That's what I would love to do, and I'm sure my mother would love to do the same."