Pubdate: Fri, 09 Oct 2009
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Matthew Claxton


After months of petty crime, a problem house has been shut down in the

Months of phone calls to the police and complaints to Langley City
hall bore fruit for the residents of one local cul-de-sac this week.

City bylaw officials, accompanied by firefighters and Langley RCMP
officers, put "Do Not Occupy" notices on a house that neighbours say
has been the home of petty thieves and drug dealers for months.

"It's all going quite well," said a neighbour who asked not to be
named. "I'm pretty happy with the way police have handled it."

The neighbour said problems began with the property sometime in May.
The house was vacant and had been boarded up, but someone moved in.

There were about 15 people there at any one time, some living there
and some coming and going, the neighbour said.

The new residents weren't just looking for somewhere to sleep. They
were involved in petty crime, often victimizing the nearby apartments.

The neighbour said a friend of his had a bicycle stolen off an
apartment balcony. It turned up in the yard of the problem house -
clearly visible from the victim's balcony. Police quickly retrieved
the stolen bike.

"That's how stupid these guys are," the neighbour said.

Numerous visits to the home by the police and the City fire department
resulted in a team being formed.

"This has kind of been a collaborative effort," said Carolyn Bonnick,
the manager of legislative services at Langley City.

A team effort over two weeks saw some inspections by building
inspectors and fire inspectors.

After several problems, including fire hazards, were found in the
building, the "Do Not Occupy" order was issued on Monday. RCMP
officers were on hand to ensure the removal of the tenants proceeded
in an orderly fashion.

Bonnick said City officials have spoken to the owner and he has been
granted permits to bring the building up to code.

Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks encouraged residents to
report petty thefts, drug dealing, or other issues they see if there
is a problem house on their street.

"Then it's identified as a problem, and they make it a project," Marks
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