Family recovering from house fire now dealing with squatters


A Bernalillo family who lost nearly everything in a fire is now dealing with another problem: squatters that have taken over their home.

It’s been a month since the family has lived in the home, and while it sits vacant thieves are having a field day. Tavia Sparks says her burned Bernalillo home has become a target. 

“It’s like an invasion of privacy. It’s frustrating, you know? Because it’s like they are messing with my safety,” Sparks says. 

For thieves who continue to make it their home and take what little the family has left. 

“They had all the stuff that was still intact from my office, I had computer monitors, laptops, a coffee pot,” Sparks says. 

Sparks says insurance advised them to board up the house and add bars to the windows, but their protective measures still weren’t enough. 

“About a week after we had dead bolted and locked everything up, they broke the deadbolt to the shed and broke open the door to the house,” Sparks says. 

Sparks says she’s reached out to the Bernalillo Police Department and the mayor’s office for help.

“It really is just getting that extra patrolling and getting street lights and neighborhood watches,” Sparks says. 

Sparks says they’ve done everything they can, they just want whoever is taking advantage of their misfortune, off the streets.

“It’s not that we could get any of this stuff back, but we still feel violated,” Sparks says. 

The chief of police says they don’t have the manpower for extra patrols around the home. 

Along with their electronics, Sparks says thieves got away with medical equipment, tools and clothes.  Sparks says a cause of the fire has not been determined. 

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