Saturday, February 08, 2003

So Carol, around the corner, has been watching the runners/look outs whatevers who hang around on the steps up to the park. There is one, wearing yet another New York Yankee hat (knit cap, not baseball cap), tall, skinny, dark hair with one of those really thing beard things that just kind of outlines the face? He is up there quite a bit, I guess. I noticed him today gazing, dare I say wistfully? at 2321. Then he went around the corner into the yard at 30 N. Montford. *sigh* I just can't get a good angle on that yard, unfortunately. Since that has been a nasty problem property here is the ownership information on it. Just something useful to have around. Also quite interesting if you notice that on 11/10/97 the house was purchased by one buyer for $9200 and on that same day by another buyer for $48,500. Extra credit for anyone who looks up the term flipping.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Having 5 inches of snow on the ground in't such a bad thing- first, I can see that there are very few footprints going to 2321, last time aorund the alley was better trafficked than the sidewalks. Having the day off from work is another added bonus, but it also brings out my neighbors so I stopped to chat with one who tends to be pretty well, if questionably, informed. He told me that Ernestine has moved and that the big dealer, Jay, was recently released from prison and is trying to take the neighborhood back from the guys that came in while he was away. Including Green Coat. I asked him about the wall scorching, he hadn't seen it but figured it may have been Jay's way of making sure they all knew what was what.

Oh and last time we had piles of snow the runners used them to drop vials for customer pick up. I have two nice piles (well, a dog peed in one) so I'll keep my eyes open.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Apparently, Green Coat has moved over a block and was seen in the alley between the unit block of Montford and Port St. I didn't think he'd move far especially since some of his customers don't seem to have gotten the message yet that the whole crew has moved on. Nice to know where he's lurking.
Earlier today, I heard a woman yell "What the Hell did you do to our house?" so I'm guessing that the ransacking wasn't really planned. I couldn't see her or the person she was talking too.

I also spent time on the phone with the city today *rolls eyes* I really wonder how much of the problem with services is lack of money and how much is poor management. I called housing to see why the two burned out houses haven't been boarded yet and was told that there are over 7000 work order outstanding and those have been pending for a while. Sanitation seems to do better, they gave me a pick up date of 21 days. I guess I will start working on figuring out a way to get 28 and 30 boarded securely sometime before I die.
Good Morning, last night at around 8:45 or 9:00 I was very certain I saw another person (or one of the same people) climb back into 2321. I went to the bedroom to watch but couldn't see any evidence that tehre was anyone inside. Later, when I went to bed, I noticed that the window covering on teh first floor back (by the door) was gone. It has not, as of this morning, been replaced, neither have the coverings on the upstairs windows which were taken down during the original break in.
If I had to guess, I'd say that the people who have been squatting there may have moved out. The amount of traffic lately has decreased and it now looks very empty although lights still come on at on the first floor front.

I plan to continue watching because I'm sure this is not the last we have seen of the goings on there. Unfortunately, even if this house is emptied, there is still a tremendous amount of street traffic here and a block up and I don't have a a good angle to view that activity.

I am quite sure someone else will move in soon anyway, if last night's tactics were to frighten the current residents away, I'm sure the plan is to move someone else in. It would be great if we could get the owner to come and post no trespassing signs or board the house or something, now while it's quiet.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Well, as quiet as yesterday was, today was rather exciting. Didn't tape much during the day but did have it running just in time to catch two guys climbing up and into the second floor window. I also happened to be in the bedroom at the time and saw this piece of action live. I debated calling 911, enjoying the irony of calling to report people breaking into a house that, as far as I know, is full of squatters. But I decided to watch for a while. Plus, since starting surveillance, I have decided not to call 911 unless there was a threat of bodily harm to someone or something like that since I'm trying not to call any more attention to myself. The two guys were both young Black men, wearing the standard dark puffy jacket and knit hats. It was dark and so, although I tried taking digital pics, they came out mostly as blobs. (see below)
I watched for a while but decided, since there were lights on downstairs, that they probably were just new tenants who didn't have a key? Anyway, I wandered back to watch the news and wasn't really paying them much attention but, while flipping channels, I happened to go by the channel that is the camera and saw a fire on the second floor. I think my first reaction isn't really printable, but it was an odd mixture of many emotions, I will say that. I grabbed a bunch of electronic devices, the phone, the digital camera, the remote (don't know why I needed that) and ran down the hall tos ee what was happening. I decided not to call 911 until I knew for sure what was going on. The two guys were still inside, they had clearly ransacked the room and were lighting fires. But they weren't burning down the house, from what I could see, they were scorching the wall to leave marks. I watched for a while longer until both guys climbed out. The second guy took a large soft drink cup with him (he did not have it going in) and they left in different directions up the alley. I continued watching to make sure that the house was not, in fact, on fire. It hasn't burned yet.

the regular occupants haven't returned yet so I don't know what their reaction will be. I'm not at all interested in getting in the middle of some kind of turf battle and my photos anyway can't be used to id the two guys unless someone is really clever with photo manipulation. but I'm keeping my eyes open out of curiousity.

Yesterday was very quiet, it was windy and the camera blew off the window sill so I only had 3.5 hours of footage and in the whole time I saw the garbage men come by (still amazes me that they get that truck up the alley), one guy looked for the stash in the trash behind 2321 and green coat walked by around noon. *shrug* not sure whether it was just a regular slow day, had something to do with it being trash pick up day, or if there was some other thing that kept them away.
I have move the camera inside, didn't think I'd get any kind of video from inside but it seems to be ok, I don't think anyone has notice the cam at all but this is just a little more secure. Plus, it is more flexible in some ways, I have better control over the ont he house and alley. When I decide to go after the illegal dumpers (and that $100 reward- woohoo) this may be a better option.

I was up at about 3am, the pets were being wretched all night, andhad to turn on the light. I noticed s man coem out of 2321 and run up the alley carrying something long, in a box or wrapped? I didn't have my glasses on and wasn't particularly even looking out the window so I don't know if he was running because of me or because ti was cold or whatever. But I was completely innocent at the time (and couldn't see anyway). Couldn't tellyou anything about him except that he had on a dark runnign suit with stripes and he looked like all the other pasty face white boys that hang around there. I wish they'd take some vitamins or something!

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

*falls off chair in hysterics* OK, I wish I were smart enough to get the video to here for. I was literally laughing out loud last night as I watched the tape made between 10 a.m. and about noon. I usually scan the tape on high speed FF and stop it when I want to take notes on something. For that first 1.5 hours I kept in on high speed and watched about 5 groups of people come up to the house and buy and then leave. Easily 20 people bought in that time period. Green cat left after 11 so the later groups were either buying from someone else or left disappointed.
No, it's not funny that that many people can be lurking around the neighborhood and buying in a short period of time. But I am easily amused by things like watching people in high speed. It looked like a frickin' soup kitchen or something.

The activity in the other yards on that block has definately also increased. I think they are stashing there in between sales. When GC left, the first thing he did was go to the yard at 2317. Unfortunately, my video is too cheap to get much detail on that .

Monday, February 03, 2003

One other piece of information, apparently, the electric at 2321 is listed in someone's name, BGE can't tell me whose, though, unfortunately. I was very surprised to hear this but happy that it wasn't being sucked out of one of our houses.

Kudos to the police for providing me with some excellent entertainment watching 6 customers try to run back up the alley that is very full of bulk trash left by the other users and dealers (loading pallet, trash cans, bike parts, mattress). it looked like some kind of weird urban football practice.

The House was quiet this weekend, only one sighting of Green Coat yesterday at about three, he just left and walked up the alley towards Bradford.
Did see two odd things, one was a man in his twenties, White, shoulder length light brown hair, glasses with dark frames, wearing a tan jacket and brown corduroy pants- he went into the yard at 2317 and was in the corner, out of sight for about 5 minutes then left, looked perfectly calm the whole time. Didn't look at all like the usual alley user, more like someone buying for a party or something, kind of artsy.

The other was on video and poor quality but someone in a bright red sweatshirt walked and gazed at 2321 for a moment then went into the yard of 2317, looked around, climbed over the wall into 2319, looked around, went back to 2317 and dug through the trash for a while climbed back into 2319 and then left towards Bradford. I think he needs to think twice about wakling with someone else's stash.