Gresham homeowner frustrated after holding ‘squatters’ at gunpoint at his vacant home

Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 5:27 PM PST
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GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) – A homeowner said “it’s crazy” after he had to hold squatters in his vacant home at gunpoint until the police arrived.

FOX 12 first brought you this story when police responded last week.

The homeowner said this isn’t the first time he’s found intruders living in the house. But he said this latest time, the squatters really tried to make it their home.

People who live in the 18000 block of Northeast Davis Street said they’d thought they had new neighbors. It turns out, the owner of the house said those aren’t new tenants - they’re squatters.

“We had just those two braces on the slider,” homeowner John Davis said. “But they were down, and they had unlocked it.”

Davis said he held two intruders at gunpoint on Wednesday - long enough for police to arrive.

“First door I opened, there’s people laying down on the floor,” he said.

Gresham police said they responded to the house just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Officers said they found people trespassing. Investigators said both suspects had unrelated outstanding warrants and were taken to jail.

Davis said he’s frustrated because this isn’t the first time he’s found squatters inside of his newly renovated house.

“That’s the second time we found someone living in the walk-in closet,” Davis said.

This time, the intruders really made themselves at home, left a mess and damaged property.

“I did find needles,” Davis said. “You can see the damage on the new countertop.”

He said he’s done what he could.

“They did steal keys,” Davis said. “I just had to change all the locks.”

If they hadn’t left, he said his only choice would be to go through a lengthy court process.

“It’s crazy how backed up they could be,” Davis said. “It could be years and how much am I going to spend on a lawyer?”

Davis said he does think more needs to be done to address the local homeless crisis, but also said he doesn’t feel protected as the owner of the property.

“You might want to help them, but if they don’t want help, then what?” Davis said. “What’s a homeowner’s recourse?”

Davis said he completed renovations in July, and the issues really got worse since there’s isn’t someone actively working on the house. He said new owners will be taking over and moving in as soon as next week.