“You don’t even know which bank or mortgage company owns them anymore”
~ Former North Las Vegas Police Chief, Joe Forti
Garbage bags strewn across the floor, filthy empty swimming pools and a child’s abandoned bicycle: Inside the squalid Las Vegas homes invaded by squatters
- Las Vegas squatter problem fueled by big inventory of homes abandoned by people with deep financial problems
- Police don’t have a dedicated squatter unit, but received at least 4,458 squatter-related service calls in Las Vegas
- Squatters sometimes create bogus leases, prompting utility officials to use paperwork traps to spot fake contracts
- North Las Vegas police targeted squatters over four weeks and cleared more than 50 houses and made four arrests
The Las Vegas area is grappling with a squatter problem, fueled by a big inventory of empty houses abandoned by people with deep financial problems when the economy crashed.
Las Vegas police don’t have a dedicated squatter unit, but received at least 4,458 squatter-related service calls in Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County last year, more than double the tally in 2012, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
City officials recently launched a pilot program to secure abandoned houses with a sheet plastic made of polycarbonate, a supposedly unbreakable alternative to plywood.