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Neighbors claim vacant homes are to blame for uptick in crime in southwest side neighborhood

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Posted at 11:45 AM, Feb 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-03 11:45:48-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Vacant homes in a southwest side neighbordhood have neighbors calling on the city of Indianapolis for help.

They blame the empty homes on a rise in violent crimes.

"These two houses here where the homicide happened at 3242 and 3240, they both known to have squatters,” Hall said.

Tony Hall is talking about the home where Monday’s homicide happened. According to IMPD, on Monday around 4 p.m. officers received multiple calls referencing a person shot at 3242 Collier Street.

When officers arrived, they found an adult male inside the home with trauma injuries.

“One of the most frustrating things I see is that a lot of these houses sit empty for a long period of time – they catch fire – people break into them,” Hall told WRTV on Tuesday.

WRTV captured multiple other homes boarded up in the area.

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Neighbors say those have led to other issues in the area, like people starting fires and breaking into homes.

“I know that economically it can be really challenging to make a lot of this stuff go away but at the same time a lot of us have to deal with the fall out,” Hall added.

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The City of Indianapolis says there are more than 1,800 properties that are unsafe or abandoned in Indianapolis.

According to the City, Department of Business & Neighborhood Services has demolished roughly 375 structures since 2017, and 29 are already contracted for demolition in early 2024.

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The city says additional 2024 demolition bid packages will be evaluated throughout the year as cases become eligible and as the budget allows.

“Somethings got to be done about a lot of the houses sitting here empty,” Hall concluded.

The city says people should report unsafe conditions at vacant structures to the Mayor's Action Center using Request Indy.

DBNS will investigate the property and determine whether a vacant board order, a repair order, or a demolition order is warranted.

If the property is occupied, they should call the Marion County Health Department/Health and Hospital Corporation: 317-221-2150.