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I-Team looks at the valley-wide problem of squatters

A well-known Palm Springs designer is finally taking her new building back from squatters, who kept her from going inside the property for several months.

She says they cost her tens of thousands of dollars and threatened her. We discovered this type of situation is a big problem in the Coachella Valley, with many squatters getting away with it.

Tracy Turco says images show the filth left by several squatters inside the building she owns on Palm Canyon. She purchased the property "as is" back in November with hopes of turning it into a Modernism Museum, but it came with an unwelcome surprise. Several people had been living there secretly and for free.

Turco said they refused to leave and since squatting is considered a civil matter, the situation dragged on for more than five months.

"The law should protect both sides. Do you not want people to have a business, do you not want people to open here and spend their life money and earnings and savings to create a beautiful place for everyone to come and enjoy," Turco said.

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Peter Daut

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