Homeless squatter booby-traps camp on Snohomish farm

A close-up photo of a trip wire discovered protecting a homeless squatter's camp on the private property of a Snohomish family farm. KVI's John Carlson interviews Michelle Bartleheimer about the squatter's camp that was fitted with booby-traps to possibly injure anyone who unwittingly approached. (photo: KOMO News).{ }

"I was just completely flabbergasted that on my property I have a dangerous situation. And if my son hadn't seen that first trip wire he could have been injured, seriously hurt by these booby-traps and wires and everything else," Snohomish farm owner, Michelle Bartleheimer, tells KVI.

She tells host John Carlson that her 17-year-old son discovered the dangerous trip wires crossing the paths to the squatter's camp at ankle height and neck height.

Bartleheimer says their family farm along the Pilchuck River is close to 600 acres and the problem with squatters is getting worse.

"In the last couple of years its become a near constant issue," Bartleheimer says, "to where we're having to patrol our property regularly to look for any signs of people trying to camp on our property, squat on our property."

Carlson asked her what percentage of squatters she's experienced are involved in drug use.

"100%", Bartleheimer said. ""Every single camp we've cleaned up (on their property) has evidence of drug use."

The school teacher says homeless and drug vagrants feel emboldened because they don't face serious punishment and also feel a sense of entitlement to do whatever they please (be it drugs, trespassing, stealing and so forth).

She adds, "The law says we have to put up signs saying no trespassing, private property. And we put them up. And they get torn down. I've put up...sighs.. I don't even know how many over the years. And if I don't have those signs up then they can say 'well you didn't properly post' therefore they can't charge this person (for trespassing). "

Click the picture of the squatters camp above to hear the full KVI interview.

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