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Residents in Serra Mesa: Squatters are living in military housing

People living in the area reached out to CBS 8 with concerns, telling us squatters have moved in, creating an unsafe feeling for families in the area.

SAN DIEGO — Neighbors in Serra Mesa are worried about a house on Murray Ridge Road in the Liberty Military Housing neighborhood where they said squatters have moved in, creating an unsafe feeling for families in the area.

“It’s the most uneasy feeling. It’s eerie,” said a neighbor and active-duty member of the U.S. Navy, who did not want to be identified. 

People living in the area reached out to CBS 8 with concerns. They told us they’ve noticed four to five vagrants staying there since late October, after they say the previous tenants moved out. 

“It was like seeing somebody that I had actively saw on a mattress behind CVS go into a housing unit that’s only a few doors down from me,” said the unidentified neighbor. “It was like, ‘Woah, what’s going on?’” 

The house in question is the same home where a garage fire broke out just over a year ago, injuring two children inside, ages two and four, who were taken to UC San Diego for burn treatment. A year later, neighbors say that family moved out and apparently, squatters have moved in. 

“For a while, we ignored it like, ‘Whatever, there’s homeless people going in here," said the anonymous neighbor. “It was when we started to notice the drug activity, it was like, ‘Man. It’s one thing to have them living in there rent-free. Now, they’re bringing something into our community that’s not safe, you know.” 

Several neighbors have recorded cell phone videos of what they said are cars pulling up for drug deals, sometimes signaling with flashlights to people inside the house. 

Another neighbor, who also wishes to remain anonymous, is worried about her children being near this activity. 

“My oldest is 3 years old,” said the neighbor and mother of two. “He’s coming to me, you know, ‘Mommy scared. Mommy scared,’ because he can see everything that’s going on. I’m on edge at all times of day and night. You know, I don’t know what could happen at any time of day. You know, they could be cracked out, on drugs, high, I don’t know, and they could do something dangerous.” 

They’ve reported the issue to San Diego Police and to their Liberty Housing district office, but up to this point, they haven’t heard of any progress. CBS 8 reached out to SDPD but they did not respond with any information. We reached out to Liberty Military Housing and they responded with the following statement: 

"LMH is fully committed to ensuring our residents live in a safe and healthy environment every day and that our communities provide a safe and comfortable living experience for all of our residents."

For the privacy of our residents, Liberty Military Housing (LMH) is unable to go into specifics regarding the circumstances of individual residents, nor are we permitted to discuss the specifics of any pending litigation. LMH is aware of resident complaints regarding this address and has policies in place to deal with criminal or disturbing behavior in our neighborhoods.  LMH has been working with our private security provider and local law enforcement to address the situation and will continue to do so. 

Meanwhile, neighbors on Murray Ridge Road are just hoping for some kind of resolution. 

“Hopefully, they kick the people out, you know, gut that house out, change the locks,” said one neighbor. "You know, I have two young kids and I don’t want them to be exposed more to this.” 

At CBS 8, we are always Working for You and our San Diego community. If there is something you would like us to investigate, please share your idea here or email us at workingforyou@cbs8.com. 


WATCH RELATED: Navy family displaced due to mold in Serra Mesa military housing (Mar. 2022).




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