A man who allegedly squatted in a Nanaimo home while residents were away on holiday was arrested on Sept. 7, 2020, after he refused to leave, says police. (Allison Greenway/Facebook)

B.C. family returns from family vacation to trashed home by alleged squatter

40-year-old arrested Monday night

A man who allegedly squatted in a Nanaimo home while residents were away on holiday was arrested earlier this week after he refused to leave, say police.

The arrest was made Monday (Sept. 7).

The 40-year-old, who was known to police, did not come out of the house when asked and so a police dog was sent in, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

O’Brien said a family that lives in the 300 block of Nicol Street went to the Yukon for three weeks and “it appears that either a squatter or squatters basically took over their house and did a lot of damage … We were advised the house was empty at the time and nobody should be in the house.”

The family returned from holiday on Sunday, the day before the arrest, to find that their house had been broken into and that property had been damaged and allegedly stolen.

“The beds had been broken and stained, the kids’ clothes and toys had been strewn all over, and there was drug paraphernalia everywhere, including in the kids’ new back-to-school backpacks. Almost all of their things have been stained, broken, or stolen,” noted a press release from GoFundMe.

The next night at about 8 p.m., Nanaimo RCMP were called to a report of a break-and-enter in progress and found a suspect back inside the home.

“It was known [the suspect] has a propensity for violence and is sometimes carrying weapons…” O’Brien said. “The male was taken out [of the home], taken to hospital for a few stitches and he’s in cells as we speak.”

The suspect appeared in provincial court in Nanaimo this week to face a charge of break-and-enter.

O’Brien said these sort of incidents aren’t common because he said a lot of citizens in Nanaimo are “switched on” to crime prevention.

“Key is communication between neighbours to say, ‘hey, I’m going to be out of town for a while, can you keep an eye on things?’ Not saying this did not happen, but obviously there was a breakdown somewhere,” O’Brien said.

A GoFundMe has raised $8,700 for the family, which didn’t have tenants’ insurance. To view or donate to the GoFundMe, click this link.

READ ALSO: Threat made against south Nanaimo school draws RCMP presence

READ ALSO: Neighbours try to clean up around nuisance drug house on Milton Street in Nanaimo



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

SD 10 secures $3 million in funding to help build Nakusp Elementary School child care centre

The centre will provide 96 new child-care spaces in the village

West Kootenay mother searching for son missing since Sept. 1

Police are investigating the disappearance of Cory Westcott

Man whose crime spree began in Nelson pleads guilty in death of female passenger

Anthony Cortez scheduled to be sentenced for 2017 incidents

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read