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

Fifty spectators will be allowed in the West Fraser Centre, alongside 50 people on the ice. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
After tumultuous week of changes, Quesnel’s West Fraser Centre allowing spectators again

Capacity limits at the rink have changed four times in the past two weeks

The Quesnel SPCA is looking for foster homes for kittens, puppies and other small animals. (BC SPCA Photo)
“Genuine lifesavers”: BCSPCA puts out call for foster volunteers

The COVID-19 pandemic means more foster volunteers are needed to handle reduced capacity

Quesnel residents still needed to cross Fraser River footbridge, despite the winter weather. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel discovers October winter wonderland

Cariboo residents awoke to snow on their cars, and plows on the road to deal with the white stuff

Grizzly bear sightings are up in the Likely area this year. (Ivan Hardwick photo)
COS says grizzly bear sightings up in the Likely area

Two grizzly bear siblings were moved a short distance away from Likely

<em>Little Women</em> tells the story of four sisters and their trials and tribulations during the American Civil War. (Submitted)
Nazko sisters give classic novel modern twist

Joelle and Shelby Wyminga adapted Little Women into a six-part podcast, to be released Nov. 14

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read