SAN JOSE (CBS 5) — After months of complaints from neighbors, San Jose officials served eviction notices on more than a dozen squatters who have taken over Kelley Park.

On Monday, city officials handed out written warnings to as many as 16 squatters living in the elaborate, filthy camps.

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Crews discovered some camps hidden behind thick bushes of poison oak and down steep hillsides. One camp was guarded by a pit bull.

With a police escort, squatters were warned that they were illegally camping and have 72 hours to leave. The city said they would offer those living in the encampments temporary housing and counseling.

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KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

The park was the scene of several suspicious fires over the past two months. Neighbors blamed the squatters for the fires, along with thefts and break-ins in the area. According to residents, it took six months of complaints and meetings before the city took action.

City officials said cleanup of the encampments is set to begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday and may continue through next Monday. Squatters’ valuables will be catalogued and stored for 90 days, in accordance with the law.

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