Local News


SQUATTER SPOTTERS: Squatting son speaks out

Posted at 10:45 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 19:54:44-04

Squatters can turn homes and entire neighborhoods into crime scenes. 

People illegally living in houses is a problem plaguing the Las Vegas valley. 

And 13 Action News is committed to covering it in a new series we're calling "Squatter Spotters."

If you spot some squatters, let us know about them. 

Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears has a family's squatting story with a serious twist.

The house? Trashed.

"You never know what to expect when you go over there."

The crime? Constant.

"I ran somebody out of the house and two weeks later he turned up dead right there by the house."  

Johnny Talamante says he was forced to move out of his own home after his son, Chris, who is a convicted criminal, wouldn't leave.

"He's completely taken over my house. They've trashed the house. People in my house. Selling drugs through the house. Stolen merchandise in the house." 

Johnny says Chris is squatting in his northwest valley home, bringing in a string of shady characters. 

When we went to check things out, we found an upside down "No Trespassing" sign and another reading "No traffic. No exceptions. Do not come back." 

One guy came out and confronted us, but walked away when we asked questions. 

And then, the garage door opened, and out came Chris.

Darcy Spears: We'd love to talk to you about why you're living in this house when your dad says you're squatting.
Chris Talamante: He, well, I've been here for about five or six years.
Darcy: Right, but time isn't really the issue. Ownership is the issue.

Christopher Talamante is currently out of jail on bail, facing felony burglary and gun charges.

He's also got warrants out for his arrest in two other felony cases for possession of stolen property, burglary and obtaining money under false pretenses.

Darcy: What's your side of the story, Chris?
Chris: My dad should've evicted me. He didn't.

Johnny says he tried to do that.

But the eviction process is complex, takes time and is more confusing when it's not a traditional landlord/tenant situation where someone's paying rent.

"I don't see any mechanism to get him out of the house," Johnny said.

The process can go on for weeks or months. In the meantime...

"Whoever else he gets in that house, I also have to evict them."

"(He) wants me to be homeless," said Chris. "So what do I do? Move out on the streets?"

Chris claims he is not squatting.

Darcy: How are you not squatting?
Chris: Because I've lived here.
Darcy: Do you understand that that doesn't establish a legal right to be in a place? Just because you're in a place doesn't mean you're legally allowed to be in a place. You get that, right?
Chris: Yeah, but there's nothing illegal about me being here at all.

Even so, he claims he wants to move out.

Chris: I need time to move out.
Darcy: How much time do you need?
Chris: It's looking like a couple months now, because I've had everything taken from me. Everything.
Darcy: So if we come back in a couple months, this is gonna be empty?
Chris: Realistically, I don't know. I'll probably be in jail.
Darcy: Sounds like you got a lot of stories surrounding you, Chris.
Chris: I do. I do got a lot of stories, and you know what?  It sucks!

Not nearly as much as it sucks for his father, who lost his home and his son.