In addition to today’s Beacon-News column on the subject, I had an interesting conversation with Aurora Alderman Rick Lawrence regarding that ostensibly abandoned Downers Place home the neighbors supposedly “looted.”
Here’s what those “dastardly” neighbors told him:
1. The homeowners said they were not coming back and would hire someone to finish the job. Realizing the couple was short on cash, the neighbors pitched in to help them out. Some say the owners told them they could take what they wanted.
2. They did email and phone the homeowners repeatedly, but got no response.
3. The doors to the residence were left wide open.
4. The sinks, appliances and other fixtures had already been sold at a garage sale.
5. The house was and is completely unlivable including maggots rooting through food strewn about the floor.
6. The male homeowner allegedly agreed forgo filing a complaint in return for a low 5 figure settlement.
The facts are:
1. Lawrence said, “We secured the doors and reported the situation to the Mayors office, exactly as I have done numerous times before on other properties. The only difference here was, the neighbors took it upon themselves to start the cleanup. Usually they just call me.”
2. After the police inspected the home, the owners were cited by the city and given 5 days to clean it up or they’d take action.
3. The city removed 7 truck loads of garbage from the back yard alone.
4. The homeowners have since hired a cleaning crew that spent over a week hauling debris, furniture and garbage from the home and garage.
You be the judge as to who’s trying to pull a fast one here.