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

Tour de Rock pedals through the Cowichan Valley

Cops for Cancer fundraiser visits local schools

Kerry Park Islanders open regular season this weekend

Intersquad game boosted profile for some players

Crash snarls traffic in Duncan Tuesday evening

The crash appeared to involve at least three vehicles

Fire crews put out blaze in Cowichan Secondary outbuilding

Three halls respond to fire in storage structure

Who’s running in Cowichan?

A list of Cowichan candidates for the upcoming provincial election

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Abandoned Neucel mill in Port Alice to cost at least $17 million to decommission

Removing hazardous waste and de-risking the site ratchet up bill to taxpayers

Most Read