Neighbors fear blighted home attracting crime on Savannah’s east side

SAVANNAH, GA (WSAV-TV) – What is currently an eyesore for neighbors along Anderson street in Savannah seems to be attracting criminal like behavior.

One neighbor says she has yet to see the city hold property owners responsible for the potential crime magnet.

“I haven’t seen any action, and action to me is someone securing that property again,” says Tina Brown.

Since March, Brown has seen the vacant home next door go from blighted to a possible crime haven.

“I think I saw two drug deals out back, and I was like wow really?”

The house has a broken window and front door cover pried off. Sity spokesmen say it could be related to a company trying to sell the home and potential buyers needing to look inside. What Brown is seeing, however, looks more criminal in behavior.

“People are using that property and you can’t be using that property for good for good. So I called 311 and I told them that ‘prostitution was going on over there’,” Brown says.

That’s when she was put in touch with Metro police. They’ve answered more than 17 calls to the property in the past two years. They’re also actively trying to construct a citizen’s agreement with the owners so that they can watch the house.

“The property owner they actually release the permission to us to go and patrol the property and go in at any hour of the day,” says SCMPD Crime Prevention Officer Corporal Samantha Stephens describing the process of a citizen’s agreement.

“If you’re seeing someone literally breaking an entering doing criminal behavior or suspicious behavior the call should go to 911,” says Saja Aures with the city’s public information office.

Brown feels her three calls to 311 and talk with Metro police should be enough red flags and wants action to be done before she has to make that call.

“I don’t want to have to call 911 when it becomes an emergency so again fix it.”

Metro police does have a non emergency hotline for issues of suspicious activity. That number to reach is 912-651-6500.

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