Local News


Some neighbors blame church for squatter fires

Posted at 12:06 AM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 10:54:44-04
People living in one valley neighborhood are fed up with what their area is turning into between the squatter fires, break-ins, alleged prostitution and car thefts. The latest being the massive fire at the old Las Vegas Zoo over the weekend.
Some in the area are blaming a local church that hands out free food.

"I can understand they have to feed them, I have no problem with that," said Julie Amate. "But crime has gone up around here a little bit more since they've been around."
The church hands out 7,000 pounds of food a week to 150 families that line up each and every Friday. The bishop tells 13 Action News more than 2,000 people are fed every month.
"My heart breaks for them because they grab the box and go over and sit in the shade and start eating so yes they are hungry," said Church of God Bishop Randy Sapp.
Sapp says his charitable work is not causing the squatters and the crime.
"There's been some crazy things that happened in our community here but it's not because of people coming here," Sapp insists.
Sapp would like the crime to go away, but says he will not stop feeding those in need.
"Bad people are going to do bad things but the heart of the good people that's willing to give, the community that gives, is amazing to me and I want to be a part of that and we need more."
Now that the main building of the old Las Vegas Zoo burnt down, neighbors are concerned the squatters will take over the back buildings. One neighbor told 13 Action News that the buildings have already been boarded up three separate times. He says the squatters find a way to kick in the wood every time.