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Vandalized House Served Nuisance Abatement Notice

Whoever is responsible for the abandoned, foreclosed house on 5115 La Roda Ave. faces criminal prosecution for failure to heed the City’s warning to clean up the property, barricade all entry points and fence the entire lot.

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.

Click here to see photos from our previous article about the severely vandalized property on 5115 La Roda Ave.

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.

'Worst Neighbors'

“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.

willymodel July 10, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I think it's ridiculous that it got to this point without someone intervening, police, bank, neighborhood watch, etc. This is appalling for this neighborhood. I used to live in Eagle Rock.
Librarygal July 10, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Great piece done by ERHS Alumni Suraya Fadel & the camera man from Channel 2/9. As an ER resident though, I am appalled it was allowed to get this bad, that's a terrible way to reflect our beautiful community. Hope this will never be repeated again.
Jennikate July 11, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Wow Alex! Before you call the neighbors names, you should do your due diligence on the situation. I am one of those neighbors and we have tried for over 2 years to get these people to take care of the property before they moved out and vandalized it last week.The fire dept. has cited the property multiple times for violations already due to multiple neighbor complaints. We have made many phone calls to the fire dept and city hall as well as the bank that owns the foreclosure. What "ignited the fire" was the vandalism and the abandonment of the property. All of the neighbors have been concerned and actively trying to get this problem addressed for a considerable amount of time! I hope you never have to deal with the bureaucracy of a foreclosure next to you.
carol van beek July 11, 2012 at 05:40 AM
That is so sad. Our tax dollars pay the salaries of all these people who could have prevented this. Building and Safety and Huizar's office should be ashamed to have let a family home on a nice street be destroyed and the neighborhood's quality of life be diminished due to their disregard.
Jennikate July 11, 2012 at 04:42 PM
@DetroitZillaNoJoke I find it comical that you would call us neighbors weak when we have ACTIVELY pursuing the problem for quite a while. I think what is "weak" is the banks treatment of their foreclosure properties in general. It is a problem throughout the country. As a matter of fact, we did make multiple trips to the bank, with photos. The city inspector and the fire dept also came to the property and citied it due to our complaints in previous years. Remember, the people were still living there till last week. Unfortunate that it had to be vacated and vandalized for the bank and city to take any real action.
Jennikate July 11, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I agree, Carol. What is really sad is that this is happening in other areas of our neighborhood and been totally ignored. I am not ignorant to the fact that this has only gotten attention because it is in the more "exclusive" section of Eagle Rock as some may refer to it. What about the other parts of our neighborhood?!
Jennikate July 12, 2012 at 01:14 AM
@Alex White Whatever you say Rambo!
carol van beek July 12, 2012 at 01:42 AM
@Alex White Lucky you. Where do you live? Who is your council member? Maybe ours could learn something from him/her.
carol van beek July 12, 2012 at 11:49 PM
@Alex White No "simple sarcasm" intended. My questions were serious and sincere. I hear the same complaints from all over CDs 1, 13, and 14. People do call and nothing gets resolved. So if you have a responsive council person, I'd like to know who that is so if they ever run for mayor or another higher office, I could recommend and vote for him/her.
carol van beek July 13, 2012 at 09:39 PM
@Alex White. You make many good points. I think where it falls apart is that social pressure takes a lot of time and energy - more than a lot of people have. Also, people get discouraged when they try and try and their efforts don't produce results. One thing that you didn't mention, that I think is helpful. is to have a good relationship with your senior lead officer. Personally, I've never been to a NC meeting. The ones I've heard about seem to be infiltrated with people with their own agendas or are on some kind of personal power trip. I am lucky to live on a "good" street. We don't have a NW, we just automatically look out for each other. However, not everyone I know is so fortunate. What this city will need to survive intact is some people with intelligence AND integrity running it.
nonoise July 14, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Problem #1, No neighborhood prosecutor at Northeast LAPD to help solve these issues. The mayor and city councilmembers have cut the city attorney's budget in half and staff and working one person doing the job of 5. Complain to city hall, the mayor and your city councilperson. They lied when they said they raised trash fees for more police officers. Lies, lies, and more lies.
Tim Tritch July 15, 2012 at 02:58 AM
I saw an interview on tv once with a young lady who was complaining about the high rent in a lower class neighborhood. The interviewer told the lady that she could rent a very nice apartment, in a nice area of Burbank for less than what she was paying in this lower class neghborhood. The young lady then said,"But in those neighborhoods you have to keep everything clean, and you can't have parties."
Ajay Singh (Editor) July 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM
The house is still going through the abatement process.

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