Squatters express concerns after Albuquerque property is forced to clean up | KOB 4

Squatters express concerns after Albuquerque property is forced to clean up

Ryan Laughlin
Updated: August 12, 2020 06:27 PM
Created: August 12, 2020 05:02 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The City of Albuquerque is demanding the owner of the Rising Phoenix Apartments clean up the property.

However, people who live at the apartment complex fear changes will mean they will have to find a new place to stay.

Christopher Krebsbach, who admits to being a meth user, said he lives at the complex for free.

"I'm living in an abandoned apartment," he said. "I've been here since March."

Krebsbach said he's worried about police violating his civil liberties after what he saw on Wednesday.

"They were not only just harassed, they were instructed to turn out their pockets," he said. "They were searched illegally because none of them, none of them all said it was OK to be searched. And many of them were hauled off - I believe we saw seven people."

According to an APD spokesperson, officers were called to the property Wednesday after reports of trespassing. They said they found a man with meth, two people with felony warrants and two others with misdemeanor warrants.

Four people, in total, were arrested.

The city says the property managers have until Aug. 17 to move people out of badly damaged buildings, put up fencing and hire security.

City officials confirm Fannie Mae has allocated $2 million to the property managers to try and get the complex into compliance quickly.

City Councilor Pat Davis says it's in the property owner's right to call police to kick people out who are living there illegally.

"I feel as though it was a form of intimidation," Krebsbach said. 

Krebsbach is now worried where squatters will live if are kicked out. 

"That is something that we always worry about, all of us do," he said. "Some more than others."

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