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Vandals Target Carson Street Homes

Houses left vacant due to a landslide on Carson Street have been vandalized.

Vandals have made their way inside three abandoned homes on Carson Street, with profane doodles and scribbles taking up entire walls. One home has the sentence, "I will f--- ur mom," in large, black spray painted letter above its main stairwell.

The taggers hit 227, 221 and 239 Carson Street. All were left vacant due to the butting up against the homes.

"These abandoned properties are not only an eyesore and a blight on this neighborhood and city but are unsafe for anybody who ventures inside of them due to the presence of mold in them caused by ever-present water inside from past rainstorms which washed right through the properties," said a set of emails between resident Billy Vogele to Hercules Chief Building Official John McGuire.

"Unfortunately, there is a process that has to be followed before the court system will issue an inspection/abatement warrant... I will see about securing the properties, but by law I am not even allowed to do that.  The Municipal Code gives me the authority to require that a property be boarded up but there is no one that will respond to such a request.  Again, I will probably have to secure a warrant," said McGuire.

Earlier in the month, Carson Street residents noticed four males exit 227 Carson Street with a cooler, leaving behind fresh graffiti. Police were called, but the men had already disappeared, Vogele said.

Also in May, a neighbor "told me that he recently saw a suspicious person hanging around 227 and ran him off. He also saw the presence of obscene graffiti inside of 239 recently," Vogele said.

"It is obvious that these properties are not only a nuisance, but an attractive one which threatens the health, safety, security, and well-being of this community," Vogele said.

Vogele said he has complained to the city about the (vacant homes) for over a year. He said various people have been seen lurking around the vacant homes since last summer.

Correction: When first published, this article said resident Billy Vogele has complained to the city about graffiti in the vacant homes for over a year. What he in fact said was, "For well over a year now, I have been complaining to the city regarding the presence of the abandoned, red-tagged properties at 221, 227, and 239 Carson."

Giorgio C. May 28, 2012 at 01:30 PM
The HOA waived the rights to sue the developer. Has anyone looked into suing the engineering firm that the developer contracted with? Is this still a possibility or is this engineering firm also protected via the settlement? Are the developer and the engineering firm they contracted with treated as one of the same for purposes of litigation?
Susan D.Keeffe May 28, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Who owns the properties?
Sarah Creeley May 28, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I think it should be noted that these vacant homes are very close to Hanna Ranch Elementary School, where many kids walk daily. The disrespect for women evidenced in the graffiti is very concerning. I hope this leads to something finally being done about this problem.
Giorgio C. May 28, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Glenn, my two cents based on no formal training in this area whatsoever leads me to think this has nothing to do with affordable housing. In every community and at every socio-economic level, there are boys (and men) who have serious troubles, often expressed as hatred towards women. When I first saw this graffiti, I did not think about the lack of disrespect towards women, but instead, became concerned for the safety and well-being of any women who cross paths with these individuals.
Sarah Creeley May 28, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I hope that Mr. McGuire will get the warrant he needs. These recent actions; breaking and entering, vandalism, along with the potential for someone to be harmed should constitute a public nuisance that I hope is clear to everyone.
Sarah Creeley May 28, 2012 at 05:22 PM
When I read the article again I noted that the graffiti has been there for one year. That really surprised me! This is a terrible situation!
Jerome A. May 28, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Glenn, I believe your misplaced fear/racism towards certain people are leading you to believe it's okay to profile the suspects without any additional information. That is counter-productive and just adds to terrible stereotypes towards people of color and low income families. Does that mean a middle class white teenager from Concord couldn't be capable of such a thing?
Laila Kearney (Editor) May 28, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I'm closing the comment stream. It has gotten unnecessarily ugly.

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