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Low Income Housing Security Thwarted by Squatters in California

Posted by Chris O' Rourke on Oct 25, 2017

Housing security guards had a hard time ridding a Richmond project of squatters. The California public housing project was deemed uninhabitable. Residents were evacuated. Homeless people took over the building after it was closed.

Vagrants broke through housing security locks and gates and stayed. The news article did not report video cameras on site. Live video monitoring with speakers could have been used to warn trespassers away and report break-ins in real-time to the police.

Squatters trashed the rundown housing project. Copper wire piping was pulled out from the walls and the building was flooded with stagnant water and trash.

A Richmond resident emailed the city about the squatters. The squatter problem was seen as a dangerous nuisance and a threat. The Richmond Housing Authority’s attempt to secure the low income housing complex failed. The agency welded gates shut around the property, posted “No trespassing” signs, and hired private security guards. Even the guards felt their efforts were ineffective. They admitted defeat.

Over 20 units were taken over by squatters. One of the squatters said she found everything she needed at the abandoned housing project. The low income housing project had running water, electricity, and a futon.

Richmond City officials said that a disgruntled former employee, a maintenance worker, thwarted their efforts to secure the building. His contract allowed him to live at the apartment complex for free. When the housing project residents were evacuated, the former employee refused to leave. The ex-employee said the Richmond Housing Authority owed him money.

The city was required to provide power to the building until the final resident was evicted. Housing security was unable to do anything about the disgruntled former employee.

Security guards found the squatters to be hostile and threatening. The squatters needed to be approached with caution. Richmond Police arrested eight vagrants at the closed-down housing project. The suspects were arrested for trespassing, drug violations, and outstanding warrants.

This California housing project is not a client of Stealth Monitoring.

Stealth Monitoring is the leader in remote video surveillance in Canada and the U.S, with over 400 employees, 11 offices, and 3 live video monitoring control centers. Stealth’s proactive video monitoring watches over 17,000 IP and CCTV security cameras. Our security solutions feature advanced technology and can detect and deter crime while reducing security guard and other expenses. Our remote monitoring service can reduce or even replace security guards at a fraction of the cost. A remote surveillance operator can see suspicious activity, activate a speaker warning, and call the local police.

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