A Highland Park woman was recently victimized by a pair of squatters who took over her apartment while she was on vacation — wearing her clothes, using her shower and claiming the place was theirs when police came calling.
She told CBS Los Angeles reporter Lesley Marin all about the incident, which happened when she and her roommates were out of town and the couple broke into their apartment through her bedroom window.
“All my clothes, down to the underwear, the socks, my Yeezys, my pants,” Virginia Pinto recalled.
That wasn’t all they took advantage of, apparently camping out in her room, using her bed and bathing in her shower during their extensive stay, which began some time before the woman was arrested on Aug. 9, when one of the roommates returned home and came face-to-face with the squatters.
When she called police, the man fled, but the woman stayed behind, hiding out in the closet of the bedroom for over an hour.
“When the police came and they told her to get out, the first thing she said was, ‘This is my home,'” Pinto said.
Footage from inside Pinto’s room show her clothes strewn all over the floor and a lighter and pipe in her unmade bed.
She and her roommates are elements exactly how long they made their apartment home, though they have some idea.
“At least 24 hours, because the beds were undone, they took showers, they washed clothes. They had a lot of time,” she said.
Days after she returned home, Pinto found new evidence of the squatters outside of the recently-boarded-up window — a tarp covering a number of things left behind.
“There’s like a little air conditioner thing that they plugged into the outside outlet, there was a jug of orange juice, two pillows and a bench,” she said.
She also said that she had around $2,000 dollars, purses and some of her clothes stolen from inside her bedroom.
Pinto and her roommates have taken a number of steps to further secure their home, but even with the new measures they don’t feel safe, planning to move from the place they’ve called home for more than two years.
“I feel like I can’t sleep peacefully at night,” she said. “Now I wake up anytime I hear something. … It’s very scary.”
The Los Angeles Police Department has yet to respond to CBS’ request for additional information on the woman arrested on Aug. 9.