Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another Close Call with Contractors

Post and photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman

Today was a busy day in NoMi. Earlier in the weekend, I welcomed some new neighbors to the area, and today another owner-occupant a block or so away had an open house. This is on top of having met several OTHER new Hawthornites at the NoMi reception put on by Connie Nompelis.

While I was on my way to the open house, I got a call from someone in the EcoVillage. She told me that she was seeing...

...potentially unauthorized work happening at 3116-3118 6th St N (pictured above). This is a house that has been slated for demolition in order to make way for the higher-density housing that will be built along Lowry in the coming years.

Something seemed off to this resident, though, and she wondered if she should call 911. I double-checked the ownership, and yes indeed, the city of Minneapolis owns the building. "The city owns the place, there's work happening on a Sunday, and someone who lives nearby and knows the area doesn't feel it in. I'm on my way over," I said.

I got there only moments before a squad arrived. I explained the situation, and the officers went inside, only to verify that these people indeed had the scavenger/scrapper rights for any materials of value. But the police said that the resident and I absolutely did the right thing in calling it in. One of these times, we'll catch some of these crooks in the act.

So to anyone thinking about moving in to the house being built at 400 31st Ave N, or one of the upcoming Habitat for Humanity homes, or any other house in or around the EcoVillage, this is the kind of community you're coming into. One that watches, and calls, and does so because we care about the people and the homes around us.


MeganG. said...

One of these days you guys are going to prevent a gas explosion that could potential kill and definitely devastate buildings and lives.

Good Job Hawkman and fellow eco-villagers.

Hans said...

Very interesting. I too saw some activity at the house and thought it was odd considering the demolition status. I guess next time I notice something out of the ordinary I just might have to shoot the Hawkman an email.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you called and got a cruiser to respond. I came home this evening at 5:30 and there were two adults lurking hiding between an out of town neighbor's privacy fence and garage. They kept peeking around the garage to see if they were being watched. I called the cops at 5:31, and we didn't see a cruiser until 6:20. Too late, the lurkers left about 6:00, and when I tried to flag the cop down, they kept going.

Not bagging the cops, it's just that our alley has been hard hit these last two weeks with car and home burglaries. A meeting at Shingle Creek last winter gave me hope of a more responsive Fourth Pct. It makes me want to change my sign to 'We Watch, We Call, We Wait...And Wait...And...'

Anonymous said...

In reference to We Watch, We Wait, no wonder the response was so quick in your case, John, the City owns the house in question.

Anonymous said...

How about reporting the unpermitted work at your house Jeff.

Fed Up With The 4th said...

I've found the same thing from the 4th precinct. I want to change my sign to we watch we wait too. MPD could care less about a property crime. And if they don't catch the perp in the act, good luck, because they won't follow up with an investigation.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 7:53

You didn't know what they were doing, Right?
You didn't know what they weren't doing, Right?

If you think you see someone breaking into a garage call it a "Break In" when you call 9-1-1.

For Example:
"Minneapolis 9-1-1"

"Hi, I'd like to report what I think is a "BREAK IN" at my neighbor's garage. There are two people going in and out of the area between the garage and the privacy fence. I can't see exactly what they are doing, but I think they may be BREAKING IN to the garage."

As opposed to:

"Minneapolis 9-1-1"

"Hi I'd like to report two people lurking around by my neighbor's garage. I can't tell what they are doing but they keep looking around suspiciously."

"Are they in the garage?

"No, they're just lurking around beside the garage..."

Which do think is a higher priority call?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Anon 10:17, You are exactly right. I've stated so before on this blog, but when you see someone entering a vacant building and you think they don't belong there, report it as a possible trespass in progress to the 911 dispatcher.

If you see someone who looks like they're just scoping out the property, that's a suspicious person under the lurking ordinance.

Make sure to phrase things correctly so that the appropriate police response and priority is given.