Local News


Squatters move out of senior community after Action News exposes problem

Neighbors had hit roadblocks at every turn
Posted at 11:32 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 11:18:11-04

UPDATE: Neighbors tell 13 Action News the alleged squatters have been evicted from the property near Desert Inn and Theme Road.  The doors have been sealed and the locks have been changed.

"They left some trash out here," said retired San Diego police Sgt. Dennis Dawson, "...Channel 13 put enough pressure on them that the constable came out and put the seal on the door."

13 Action News worked alongside Dawson to get results for the community. 

"You don't have to be afraid, you have the law on your side," said Dawson.

Our crews are trying to help a community across town experiencing a similar issue.

"I've thought about like, do I just sell and move?" said Larry, who didn't want to have his last name published.

Neighbors in the community near El Capitan Way and Durango Drive say they've been dealing with squatters for nine years.13 Action News is working to get in touch with the listed homeowners of the property.  

We will continue to follow this developing story.

LATEST:  After 13 Action News got involved, the property owners state they will begin eviction proceedings on Monday at the home near Desert Inn and Theme Road.  We will stay on top of that development.  

13 Action News also spoke with the manager of the HOA.

"The property owner has to do the eviction, not the association," said Barbara Holland, Regional Manager of First Service Residential, "there's not too many options we have to remove squatters."

Holland said she urges all homeowners to get involved in the legislative process.

"We have to change the law," she said.

Holland suggests contacting lawmakers now regarding this issue, so that a bill can be introduced at the next legislative session.

ORIGINAL: Neighbors say they fear the home next door could explode at any moment.  The property is located in a retirement community near Desert Inn and Theme Road.

Retired San Diego police Sgt. Dennis Dawson lives in the neighborhood. He said there is a strong odor emanating from the property.  

"A very sweet ether smell, which is commonly associated with a meth lab," said Sgt. Dawson. "It's a danger of explosion, fire."

The alleged squatters moved into the home last month, according to neighbors. Residents have contacted police, the homeowners association, and the owner of the property at issue.  

However, the problem has not been resolved.

"There were five of them in there," said Sgt. Dawson. "Now I think there's two with a baby."

The owners of the property tell 13 Action News they did not rent out the property. They say the home will soon be under bank ownership.  

13 Action News attempted to speak with the people inside the property. However, they did not open the door.  We will be reaching out to police and the HOA during normal business hours.