By Janelle Stecklein And Cimaron Neugebauer
The Salt Lake Tribune
SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — Several people's efforts to cut costs apparently reached new lows recently after South Salt Lake police discovered they had set up house inside several storage units.
And while their alleged set up inside the storage units located at 3202 S. Davis Drive was apparently quite elaborate — complete with heaters, air conditioners, beds, recliners and electronics — the occupants couldn't figure out a rig an indoor plumbing system.
Police said the occupants, who were living inside six different units, were going to the bathroom in bottles. Police said the occupants were found living among that human waste, according to a search warrant made public Thursday in 3rd District Court.
"I realize people are up against hard economic times, but we will evict them," said South Salt Lake police spokesman Gary Keller. "It was just a recipe for disaster. Storage units weren't made to be habitable. They are not designed for that."
Police said they first became suspicious after they were asked to respond to a trespass call there on March 19.
When they returned a day later along with city code enforcement officers and the city fire marshal, they said the property manager told them that she knew there were people living in other units, the search warrant states.
Officers said while investigating, they found several found people illegally living there.
At least one occupant had knocked holes in the walls to allow for movement between units, the search warrant states.
Keller said the living conditions posed both health and safety risks. In one unit, he said officers found a woman locked on the inside. The occupants had set up a system so the units always looked like they were locked, Keller said.
Police also discovered a make-shift bedroom with food, clothing and other living accessories. Three other units also contained make-shift bedrooms constructed with beds, clothing, food, plugged-in televisions, microwaves, recliners, computer workstations, lamps and other accessories, the search warrant stated.
Police also found the human waste was being stored inside bottles.
"They were being very creative, but it was still a hazard," Keller said.
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