Squatters will be Told to Leave Vacant Modesto Home after Neighbors Complain

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MODESTO -- Fed up with trespassers, families in one Modesto neighborhood are demanding the city take action.

The problematic property at 133 Rosedale Avenue has been vacant for years, only to be broken into and turned into a makeshift home.

Homeowners see it as a problem, while Darrell Arnold thinks he’s making the best out of a helpless situation.

"I stumbled across it and the place was pretty thrashed," Arnold said. "So I started staying here and started cleaning it up.”

Arnold turned the garage into a makeshift home. Dirty dishes, blankets for walls and a camp stove, which Arnold says doubles as a heater, are not only unsafe but illegal.

"See, technically I guess we’re trespassing?" Arnold told FOX40.

Neighbors like Seve Botello say the squatters and trash is in the worst anyone has seen in years.

"There’s gotta be something you can do," Botello said. "The school is right there. Why can’t more enforcement be done?"

He said families are upset with their once clean neighborhood and are now dealing with heaps of trash.

"I’ve been cleaning this property up for like five years. Constantly chasing people away, cleaning the debris, feces, needles," Botello said.

Now Botello and other families want the city to take action.

"It’s not a good situation and it’s going to be more difficult to move them out, to move them on," Botello said.

A spokesman with the City of Modesto told FOX40 they have received a number of complaints from neighbors and even educators from Modesto High School, which is right across the street.

On Thursday, the spokesman said their legal department gave crews the green light to order every trespasser off the property. The city spokesman said the trespassers have been given five days to leave. Crews will be at the home next week to make sure no one is living there.

For the squatters, including Bob Greene, living in the home has been uneasy.

"I feel uncomfortable about it but I have nowhere else to go. It’s cold, it rains," Greene said.

When kicked out Greene said he’ll leave, he just doesn’t know where to.

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