Fruitland Squatters Evicted from Woods - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fruitland Squatters Evicted from Woods

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Crews remove debris from what was a camp of homeless people in Fruitland. (Photo: WBOC) Crews remove debris from what was a camp of homeless people in Fruitland. (Photo: WBOC)

FRUITLAND, Md - A group of homeless people living in the woods in Wicomico County have been forced to pack up their camp and leave.  Police said the group was living in the woods in Fruitland near the Wal-Mart shopping center.

Fruitland Police Chief Mike Phillips said it was complaints from the land owners and problems in the area that forced police to take action against the group.

"There were thefts involved with the camp. We had attempted suicides back there.  Serious assaults. That type of thing. And as far as this community, we wanted to have that removed from it so this was a step in the right direction to curb that activity," Phillips said.

It was about a month ago that the group was told it would have to vacate the land.  The deadline to leave was Tuesday.  When police arrived at the scene on Tuesday morning, everyone was gone but there was a lot of debris left behind.

"Numerous home-made living quarters as well as tents and evidence of firearms and that type of thing," Phillips said.

Tasha Robinson works in the community and she said she agrees with the plan to remove the people from the woods but also had their best interest in mind.

"I hope they have somewhere nice and warm to put them.  No one should be out here like this.  The weather is unbearable for anyone," Robinson said.

"I think they should get them up out of there because of the cold and try and find them a warm place at least for a couple days," said Louis Smith of Fruitland.

Police were sure to provide some assistance.  When the homeless were told they would have to leave, everyone was given a packet of information including a list of shelters and resources.

The area is now clear and "No Trespassing" signs are posted in the woods.  Police will continue to monitor the area.

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