FAIRFIELD (CBS13) — Crews carried out 8,000 pounds of trash from one home in Fairfield.
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That was just the beginning of what police found Tuesday. It’s any neighbor’s worst nightmare, a hoarding case that went on for months before officers could do anything.
“It was kind of sketchy to me, just the vibe I got from it,” said Anthony Villavicencio.
Fairfield Police said complaints started back in June and involved trash, criminal activity and vermin. When the police came in by force, they discovered people had been going to the bathroom outside.
“Our neighborhood used to not be that way, this is a very average neighborhood but we’ve seen the people change,” said Villavicencio.
This house, located on Atlantic Avenue, has been a challenge for police, to say the least.
“It’s painful for us. It’s painful for the people that would have to deal with it so we appreciate and respect that. The problem is these things take time,” said Sgt. Jausiah Jacobsen with Fairfield Police.
Jacobsen said his department is stuck with the bill for clean up, which could be tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars. All because the homeowner refused to comply with multiple requests to follow city rules and clean up. Those requests eventually became citations. And when those were ignored, then came the court order from the judge.READ MORE: Experts: California Lacked Safeguards For Gun Owner Info
“We’re going on to their property and taking things and disposing of it. That’s not something we do lightly,” Jacobsen said.
It’s a big strain on Fairfield’s team of five code enforcers. And from here, not much can be done. Although syringes possibly used for drugs were found on the property, that’s not a slam dunk arrest.
“Just because we do find things that may be connected to criminal activity, we still have to identify who that’s specifically associated with,” Jacobsen said.
All police can do is step up patrols and ask the neighbors to keep an eye out.
“We can’t control what happens there but if we can the best gauge, to know as soon as possible that things are going the right direction or the wrong direction, then we can tailor our response with how to deal with it,” Jacobsen said.
It’s a case where you feel really bad for the neighbors, especially Jacob Freeland.
“Today is my first day here, I literally just pulled up,” Freeland said.MORE NEWS: Fourth of July Celebrations Will Cost You More This Year, But How Much?
Freeland was moving into a starter home nearby with his wife and baby.