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Neighbor concerned after home for sale in Charleston occupied by squatters

Squatters found in home for sale in Charleston, West Virginia.
Squatters found in home for sale in Charleston, West Virginia.(Kim Rafferty)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - In the last month, Lee Ann Martin says she has seen more foot traffic down Chesterfield Avenue where she lives.

“They are not afraid; they will approach you if you are outside,” Martin said.

Martin says she used to feel safe. But with the increase in unfamiliar faces on her street and after hearing what happened just a block away, that all changed.

“I kind of actually felt terrified,” Martin said.

Charleston Police say, on Tuesday morning, a realtor went into a home she has listed in the 2700 block of Chesterfield Avenue -- only to find it ransacked by squatters, with human feces on the carpet in multiple rooms.

“Obviously very bad. According to the realtor, it was the worst she had seen in 28 years,” Martin said.

Martin says it’s an unsettling crime and she worries the people responsible may not ever be caught.

“By what they found in the house, they were using it as living quarters,” Martin said.

Police say at this point they have not been able to identify the squatters.

It is a problem Martin believes is not just happening in her community.

“In reality, we are all being violated by the homeless community in our neighborhoods,” Martin said.

She is now calling on the city to do something, saying taxes should help pay for prevention.

“It’s very prevalent. I think it is pretty much everywhere in Charleston, Kanawha City especially,” Martin said.

CPD officers said they are not investigating this incident because they don’t have a way of identifying the people who were in the home.

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