About 40 South Wellington residents cleared out a squatters’ camp south of Nanaimo on the weekend. RCMP stood by to maintain order and detained one person under the Mental Health Act. (Facebook photo)

About 40 South Wellington residents cleared out a squatters’ camp south of Nanaimo on the weekend. RCMP stood by to maintain order and detained one person under the Mental Health Act. (Facebook photo)

Private citizens evict squatters from camp south of Nanaimo

RCMP ‘keep the peace,’ as neighbourhood residents arrive with trucks, excavators and dumpsters

Neighbours moved in to oust a squatters’ camp and its residents from a rural community south of Nanaimo on the weekend.

The action happened Saturday when about 40 South Wellington residents descended on a camp that sprawled on private property and Crown land along Hill Avenue that included a number of people living in a “run down” house and others who had set up camp in trailers and RVs.

According a social media post, which included photos and video footage of the cleanup work, the neighbourhood had been suffering for about two years with break-ins, thefts, assaults, mailboxes broken into and other crime in the area.

Earlier in the week a group of community members went to the camp and told the residents they had until Saturday to leave. At 10 a.m. Feb. 8, neighbours moved in with tools, dumpster bins and an excavator and started dismantling the camp.

“If you go down there now it’s still a mess,”said Greg Stolz, an area resident who participated in the cleanup. “We want to go back there on Saturday again with machinery and stuff. We want to put the land back the way it should be.”

The owner of the property allegedly gave her blessing to the cleanup and was there on Saturday.

Stolz said the work party arrived in a convoy of pickup trucks, which he believed caused some concern for the residents of the camp, but some who were living in RVs had left earlier in the week.

“They knew they didn’t have a choice,” he said.

READ ALSO: Cedar residents protest homeless encampment near Nanaimo River

“It was crazy, just crazy, the amount of [crime],” Stolz said. “I mean, our community mailboxes for us up here on Plecas [Road] and stuff. Just about every door on them was pried open and that happened three times in three weeks.”

Stolz said residents had been communicating via a community Block Watch social media group for about one year and were keeping tabs on the crime in the area and the people suspected of committing it, which proved to also be the communication platform used to organize Saturday’s action.

Stolz also said Nanaimo RCMP were on scene when the cleanup party arrived.

“Our position is such, that we were there to ensure the situation did not get out of control and that we’re to keep the peace,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

O’Brien said one individual was detained by police under the Mental Health Act and taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for assessment.

RELATED: New City of Nanaimo bylaw eases rules around camping in parks



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Homeless

Just Posted

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
RDN Transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Jimmy Fallon joked that a woman’s 4.5-star review of a Langford jail is “the most Canadian thing you could do” in The Tonight Show Jan. 21. (Screenshot/YouTube)
VIDEO: Jimmy Fallon jokes Canadian jails are basically hotels following woman’s 4.5-star review

Woman gave handwritten card to police following stay in Langford cells

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance at Saanich staff meeting

Sidney firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Vancouver Island public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

A fire broke out near the Willow Point Bottle Depot early on Jan. 22. Photo courtesy Ashley Laycock
Two injured in early-morning fire in Campbell River

Sailboat fire also attended by Campbell River fire crews

A worker covers up racist graffiti along the West Shore Parkway. (Courtesy of Anna Young)
RCMP investigating racist graffiti spotted off West Shore Parkway

Hateful vandalism is rare, says Langford bylaw enforcement

Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team and Victoria police executed a high-risk warrant arrest on Jan. 22. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police arrest man wanted on multiple warrants

Warrants include drug trafficking, theft and possession of firearms

Most Read