Local News

Neighbors Complain About Noise, Suspicious Activity At Durham House

Posted June 21, 2002

— People in a Durham neighborhood say they are not going to take it anymore. Residents of Elizabeth Street said they are tired of the crime that will not go away.

Police said the problems stem from a rental house at 1015 North Elizabeth Street.

A police report on the house contains a lengthy list of disturbances, drugs and shootings.

People in the neighborhood said despite calls to police, the trouble has not stopped.

James Van Orden says the house has ruined his neighborhood.

"It's the central location to get drugs. People pulling up in cars at all hours, people walking in at all hours," said Van Orden, neighborhood block captain.

Police respond at all hours, too. Police have responded to calls 86 time in five months. On average, officers are called to the house every other day.

The house used to be a home for retired teachers, said landlord Randall Rogers.

"And then all hell broke loose," he said.

Rogers now rents the house to tenants, but he is not convinced that they are the problem.

"But there are no drugs in the house, and to my knowledge, to this day, there have never been drugs found in that house," Rogers said.

Some neighbors said the problem is Rocky Creek Park, located across the street, and with outsiders who come to the house with their drugs and boom boxes.

"Boom, boom, boom, they come to the stoplight. They stop and they almost knock you out of bed. You can feel the house vibrating and it's not right," said a neighbor.

"We've done as much as we can in terms of a law enforcement scheme to try to get things under control there. We have not been as successful as we though we would have been by now," said Capt. Ron Hodge of the Durham Police Department.

Police said arrests are coming, but also said they are not sure who to arrest because they do not know who is causing all the trouble.

Police say another problem is that Durham does not have strict ordinances to deal with situations like the one on Elizabeth Street. For his part, the landlord says he will begin evicting any tenants who are causing problems.


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