Prostitutes, drug dealers and homeless take home

Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 18:42:49-05

An abandoned home in the University neighborhood has been a thorn in the side of neighbors for years.

The I-Team has discovered it's another example of how easy it is for squatters to take over neighborhoods.

There's no power and no water in the abandoned house at the end of 121st Avenue East, but neighbors say plenty of people have been living there, and it's been bringing down the neighborhood.

“We all get along here. We take care of each other. We look out for one another,” said Troy Hunt, who lives a few doors down from the abandoned house.

“The old man died a few years ago,” said a neighbor, describing how the house came to be abandoned.

Court records indicate the previous owner died in January of 2013.

The home went into foreclosure and became a free-for-all for drug dealers, prostitutes and homeless people who eventually found it.

 “They just go in and sleep there. They come out when the cops come. They take them out and they come back like they live there,” said neighbor Yvette Sanchez.

 “We have to stay inside a lot, at night, especially,” said a neighbor who didn’t want to be named.  

 “I sometimes ride my bike at night, just getting a little exercise and there's harassment from them,” said neighbor Troy Hunt.

 Sanchez says she and other parents tell their kids to stay inside.

 “They don't even come out here and play,” she said.

 Deputies constantly patrol and neighbors call them often, but they say they can't arrest people unless they witness them committing crimes.

 Neighbors say they witness plenty.

 “They're taking their customers down there. You'll see condom wrappers, all kinds of ugliness. They're hollering and screaming at night,” said Hunt.

 They're hoping someone will eventually buy the house and make it a real home once again.

 Neighbors say their complaints are finally being answered. 

 The side door on the home was boarded up earlier this week, and neighbor say they haven’t seen the squatters return.

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