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

Ucluelet chamber of commerce searching for new executive director

“Lara did a phenomenal job and we will really miss her.”

Offleash dogs put shorebirds resting on Tofino beaches in jeopardy

“It’s a free-for-all. Most of the violators are locals, I believe, but there are visitors as well.”

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Tofino’s Race for the Blue fishing derby casts philanthropic net

‘Thankful Thursday’ garners over 7,200 cans of tuna for local food banks

Tofino General Hospital Foundation raising funds for new equipment

“The doctors and nurses are worked off their feet.”

Quirky Canadian comedy ‘Schitt’s Creek’ takes Emmys by storm with comedy sweep

Toronto-raised Daniel Levy and Ottawa-born Annie Murphy both got supporting actor nods

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Most Read