Portland Police Make 5 Arrests in Squatter Investigations

via PPB Press Release. Feb 13, 2012:

PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU NEWS RELEASE
Portland Police Make 5 Arrests in Squatter Investigations
Attachment: VIEW FILES

On February 9, 2012 at about 11:00 a.m., Portland Police officers assigned to the North Precinct Neighborhood Response Team (NRT), with the assistance of Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Jim Hayden and North Precinct patrol officers, cleared a vacant house of squatters. The residence is located in the 5600 block of Northeast 14th Avenue.

28-year-old Alexander Nicholas Ayers was booked for Theft in the Second Degree, Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree and on a warrant for Failure to Appear.

29-year-old Molly Maxine Garmire was booked for Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree.

23-year-old Benjamin Lee Miley was booked for Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree and Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree.

Officers located documentation indicating that this house was part of a larger, organized effort to victimize an elderly property owner. One handwritten letter located at the residence contained this statement:

“For the better part of 2011 the squatter community in Portland has been focused upon houses owned by an elderly bankrupt lady named [name withheld by Portland Police]. The idea was that we might have a better chance at survival if the landowner was, as our research could tell, a batty old lady and her bed ridden husband.”

Additional material related to the local Anarchist and Occupy movements was also present.

An investigation is continuing into other Portland-area homes.

On Monday February 13, 2011, at approximately 11:30 a.m., North Precinct Officers responded to a call of a burglary in progress at a residence in the 4900 block of North Minnesota Avenue. Officers arrived and spoke with the property owner who told them nobody was supposed to be in the house.

Officers contacted two subjects inside and arrested them for trespassing. Additional material was located inside the house indicating links to the local Anarchist movement, as well as addresses of other local vacant houses, boxing and mixed martial arts sparring equipment, and literature about picking and defeating locks.

The homeowner in this case had recently been hospitalized and that was the time frame that the squatters moved into his residence. This residence is has a different owner than the house on 14th Avenue.

Arrested were 26-year-old Kerry Cunneen and 24-year-old Michael Desmond Welch for Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree.

###PPB###

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