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Woman says Las Vegas police broke into her home and ransacked it

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Photo: Video by ktnv.com

Woman says Las Vegas police broke into her home and ransacked it

By Jennifer Kastner. CREATED Oct 29, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A Las Vegas Valley woman's condominium was ransacked during last Friday's standoff at the Vistana complex in the southwest part of Las Vegas.

Action News has since learned that Las Vegas police officers are behind the damage.

Tenant Ahtian Conner's condo looks like it was burglarized. Items are knocked over, dresser drawers are pulled out and clothes are tossed everywhere. A chunk is ripped out from one of her walls and a hole is drilled through it.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police told Action News it had to enter her condo during a standoff with Arnold King, her neighbor that was believed to be holding a person hostage. They said they accessed it as part of tactical protocol to have a vantage point to get to the suspect.

Connor was at work during all of it and said she was never made aware of what was happening. When she got home later that evening, the front door lock was broken. A shoe print was next to the knob. The door was not sealed and secured, she says. When she walked in, she believed a burglar had targeted her condominium. "I definitely thought someone had broken in while I was at work. When I called for help, it took two hours for [Metro] to respond. I felt like I was in a bad situation where I was really afraid," she said.

After two hours, she said Metro showed up and explained the events from earlier in the evening.

Metro told Action News it has the right to enter private property without clearance if it believes there is a potential 'life or death' situation taking place. Generally, officials said they leave a notice on the door after entering the property. Connor said there was no notice left or phone message left. "For whatever reason, that night they forgot to leave [a notice]," said Officer Bill Cassell with Metro.

Officer Cassell said the department's third party contractor was supposed to seal and secure the door after the scene was cleared. Metro told Action News it left the complex after believing the issue was getting fixed. Connor said her door was not sealed and secured when she got home. At this point, it's unknown if the door was attended to by the contractor before she got home. Metro acknowledges that situations like this can inconvenience people. "We understand. We hate it," added Officer Cassell.

Metro said it couldn't stick around to make sure the contractor finished the work because its department lacks an adequate number of officers. Officer Cassell added that the police force is doing the best it can with its limitations.

The department said it will reimburse the property owner for the damages.

For the time being, Connor is choosing to live elsewhere because she doesn't feel safe in her home, now that the door locks are broken.

Metro is reminding people that it's important to focus on the officers that risked their lives during the standoff to apprehend the subject. The department believes that should not be overshadowed by the property damage that was sustained.

Jennifer Kastner

Jennifer Kastner

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Jennifer Kastner is a general assignment reporter for Action News.