The Department of Building and Safety served a nuisance abatement notice Monday on a foreclosed three-bedroom house on La Roda Avenue that was recently vandalized, covered with graffiti inside out, and abandoned, with windows and walls broken and trash strewn all over.
The notice, in the form of a placard accompanied by a sheet of typed paper, was posted on behalf of the City of Los Angeles Board of Building and Safety Commissioners. Signed July 9, it is a formal warning to the owner or whoever is responsible for the house to remove all waste, rubbish and hazardous materials from the property; barricade all doorways, windows, damaged walls, roofs and foundations; fence the entire lot; and remove all graffiti.
Failure to comply with the warning, which will also be sent to the property’s owner or responsible party by mail, could result in criminal prosecution, according to the notice, which was posted on the outer wall of the house facing the porch.
City Authorities Alerted Friday
told Patch that her office was alerted about the vandalism on the La Roda Avenue property on the morning of Friday, July 7. “We immediately contacted the Department of Building and Safety's Abatement Unit and the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Brush Clearance Unit due to the excessive trash and debris in the yard,” Loera said.
“This morning [Monday], both departments went to the location and cited them for code violations," Loera added. "The abatement process usually takes a few weeks due to the fact that the owners must first be notified.” Loera also asked Patch to appeal to readers to call Eagle Rock City Hall at (323) 254-5295 if they notice any grievous vandalism in the neighborhood.
It’s not entirely clear when the vandalism occurred, but the hours between the night of July 2 and the early morning of July 3 appear to be the most likely time period, based on a visit to the vandalized house by the LAPD.
LAPD Officer Visited House July 3
According to Sgt. Edward Perez, the watch commander at the Northeast Community Station on Monday evening, an LAPD officer visited the abandoned house some time after 7 a.m. on July 3. “Whoever called us indicated that it was a bank-owned, vacant home,” Perez said.
The LAPD watch commander added that it’s possible another officer went to the house the previous night while the vandalism was underway. (According to Ruben Perez, a businessman who is opening an organic produce store in the Colorado Boulevard mini mall located just south of the trashed property, the occupants of the foreclosed house vandalized it during a night party.)
Watch Commander Perez said he could not immediately confirm whether—or precisely when—another police officer visited the house. “It’s been a busy Independence Day week for us—we even had a homicide [a gang-related shooting in Highland Park]—and I can’t find any contact about this right now,” he said, responding to a query from Patch whether a prior visit by an LAPD officer could have resulted in any arrests of the vandals. Perez said the Northeast station would be able to answer that question in a day or two as it recovers from the hectic activity of the past week.
Meanwhile, Edward Martinez, who has lived on 5125 La Roda Ave. for the past 25 years, two houses north of the vandalized property, told Patch that he did see a police officer out on the street on the night that the vandalism occurred.
“The officer came by and said, ‘okay, the party’s over—you have three minutes,’” Martinez told Patch, adding that he saw the officer drive off north on La Roda immediately thereafter. The officer subsequently returned, according to Martinez. But Martinez said he did not know what action, if any, the officer took upon returning.
“They were the worst neighbors we’ve ever had,” Martinez said, referring to the occupants of the house on 5115 La Roda, who he described as a middle-aged Brazilian couple and one or two younger men who might have been their sons. “They were always doing something wrong.”
On the night of the party, for example, said Martinez, the house was filled with dozens of people who not only created a racket but parked their cars erratically on the street outside.
The occupants evidently owned several cars that they parked conspicuously on the property’s driveway, according to Martinez, and which they transported away a day or two before the party in a huge truck.
The morning after the party, a wrecked car could be seen on the driveway, Martinez said, adding that over the next few days he saw people who scavenged goods that had been abandoned on the property.
A maroon-colored Ford Taurus sedan that Martinez said belonged to the occupants of the vandalized house is still parked across the street, which is devoid of any street cleaning signs. (See photo.) The car’s back seat is packed with dry-cleaned garments. The dashboard sports a handicap sign.