UM looks limit crime on properties
email@example.com Upper Moreland Township advised residents to keep a close eye on any neighborhood houses that could be abandoned to limit criminal activity at several possible locations.
The board of commissioners discussed the township’s ability to identify and monitor abandoned houses April 15 and determined WKDW nHLJKERUs ZHUH WKH fiUsW OLnH RI defense in keeping vandalism from occurring.
“Apparently criminal activity was going on in one of these homes,” township Solicitor Kate Harper said.
At a previous meeting, resident Nick Scull reported to the township that a house near his on Inman Terrace had been stripped of its copper piping after the owner had died and the estate left in disrepair.
“People should report that sort of suspicion directly to the police,” he said.
Harper said there are several reasons an ordinance that requires Realtors or banks to notify the township of an abandoned or foreclosed property would not be enforceable. Two examples that were given were that many banks that offer mort- gages are national banks that could be headquartered in other areas of the country or that many foreclosed properties are still lived in until the houses go to sheriff’s sale.
“I’m worried about the neighborhood deteriorating,” Scull said. “I’ve been watching people come and go for months.”
Acting police Chief Alex Levy said it is a “slippery slope” and the department cannot assume a property is abandoned even if it is in disUHSDLU. HH sDLG HvHn LI SROLFH RIfiFHUs were driving through the neighborhoods they cannot assume a house is abandoned and go in. However, Levy said, if a neighbor is concerned about a neighboring house and calls the police, they can investigate.
“We need the neighbors. Without the neighbors we’re not effective,” Levy said. “It’s a quality of life issue.”
“TKH fiUsW OLnH RI GHIHnsH Ln DOO of this, to me, is all my neighbors,” resident Denis Hurley said. “If you can’t rely on your neighbor to look around and know who’s next door and who’s across the street, boy, I’m in the wrong neighborhood. I’m in the wrong town. On our block, everybody is watching for everyone ... I think it’s our responsibility.”