CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — There’s a nasty mess yet again in a Citrus Heights gated community.
Neighbors say squatters have been taking over the community pool near Arcade Lake Lane, leaving piles of old belongings in the bathrooms. Some have even found old needles strewn on the floor.READ MORE: Protesters In Placerville Call For Noose To Remain In City's Logo
“Needles and pipes, yeah, it’s disgusting here,” Jesse Bur told CBS13. “As simple as it is, they bring their stuff in from the park all the way here at night.”
Bur showed CBS13 a hold in a fence surrounding the community. He took video just days ago showing graphic graffiti, garbage and old belongings piled knee-high.
Bur doesn’t even live in the community. He lives a few blocks away, but when he heard about the damage he wanted to help and even patrol at night to keep it from happening again. But it didn’t work.
“It upsets me because I just cleaned this not even two weeks ago. I came here on my own time, took time off of work and everything to clean this,” said Bur.
Bur even traded off with another volunteer patrolling at night. He says he’s now noticed the vandalism is spilling into his neighboring community. The Homeowner’s Association estimates roughly $50,000 in damage and those costs will trickle down to homeowners.READ MORE: Police Responding To Intruder Call Swarm Natomas Home To Discover Roomba As Cleaning Culprit
“Oh that’s not good, that’s not good. We’ve got to do something. It costs us a lot of money and we have a lot of repairs we need to do here. That money would be better spent on that,” said Kathy Dunlap.
“I do feel outraged by it. If you’re here alone at night then it’s frightening so that’s also part of it. So it’s a combination of fear and outrage,” said Leslie Berget.
Meantime Bur, a good Samaritan, is left picking up the pieces once again.
“It actually makes me very upset right now. Because it makes me feel like I did it all for nothing because they keep coming back and they keep coming back and they keep coming back,” said Bur.
Citrus Heights Police tell CBS13 they’ve been working the case for months. They have suspects in mind who will face felony vandalism and burglary charges if they’re caught because of the amount of damage.
Meantime, they’ve provided Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or CPTED, advice including, shutting down WiFi and electrical service in the pool area, improving lighting and adding surveillance cameras.MORE NEWS: Family Calls For Help In Finding Missing Modesto Mother Of 2 Allegedly Kidnapped At Gunpoint
But, those things come at yet another cost to homeowners.