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Apartment squatter arrested after breaking into vacant apartment

Apartment squatters, people who live in vacant apartments, are becoming more of a problem in San Antonio as the homeless population grows. One arrest was made here, at the Lantana Apartments.

An arrest made by San Antonio Police for a misdemeanor, breaking into an empty apartment but right now the people who live near the scene of the crime this is not a one-time occurrence, and they want something done about it.

Richard Ellison is normally an early riser.

"I usually get up about 3 or 4 in the morning.” Ellison said.

But today his morning had a little extra action.

"I seen alot of lights I seen officers when they came." Ellison said.

SAPD arriving early to the Lantana Apartments, a former undercover officer who wished not to be identified explained the scene

"Got a call for a male and female breaking into an apartment going through the window.” The officer said.

For a crime police describe as quite common.

"Carpetbagging,” said the officer, “It happens quite often."

People looking for places to live, breaking into empty apartments, according to Ellison, not just to sleep.

"They doin’ they little drug activity over here." Ellison said.

Ellison says the apartment manager is trying.

"They started putting security here at night to check the apartments, but they always come during the time officers come and gone." Ellison said.

Police say dealing with squatters can be complicated.

"Generally the people who occupy these vacant apartments are your homeless vast the high percentage of your homeless population have some sort of mental illness so you're dealing with it as well." The officer said.

Leaving residents sitting, and waiting for a solution.

"It really makes it bad for the people that live here I worry about their safety." Ellison said,

Police officers said if you suspect a person is living in an apartment in your complex illegally, check with the apartment manager to make sure there is not an arrangement in place, and then contact the SAPD to come check it out.

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