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Squatters turn College Area home into drug den days after it's made a rental

Posted at 4:10 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 21:19:30-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Squatters turned a remodeled home in the College Area into a drug den, days after it was listed on as a vacation rental.

Two weeks ago, John, who asked us not to use his full name, listed his four-bedroom home on the site VRBO, complete with new mattresses, comforters, and sheets. This past Sunday, a television installer entered the home to put up three TVs.

"He heard two people run out of the hallway out the back of the house," said John.

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Photos taken by the installer show part of the scene they left behind: trashed bedrooms and beds littered with electric scooter parts. Also on the beds were crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia. Burn marks adorned three of the beds. John and his girlfriend had spent more than a week making the place perfect.

"Just sad. She was crying out the break-in. Upsetting considering how hard we worked and how much money we spent," said John.

John isn't sure how the intruders got past the locked doors. But once inside, it's clear they made themselves comfortable, using John's tools and toiletries, and eating food meant for future guests. It appears they had been living there for days.

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"Wondering what went on there is not good to visualize in the future, so definitely feeling violated," said John.

It's a violation revisited on Tuesday morning, when the surveillance cameras showed a figure on the patio, and soon after, a person in a hoodie in one of the bedrooms. When police showed up, the burglar had disappeared. John is now planning major upgrades in security.

John still plans to list his home on vacation rental sites, but it will cost him. He spent $10,000 furnishing the bedrooms, and many of those items will have to be repurchased.