Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hoist by One's Own Petard

Several nights ago a group of renters were robbed at gunpoint in their house in the 100 block of 44th St. Click here to read the Herald article on the crime. Since I am a BlockWatch Captain for the 100 blocks of 46th and 47th Streets, I was more than casually interested in an armed home robbery that took place only one block from my home. Under the provisions of the Revised Code of Washington 42.56, I requested a copy of the police report (Number 08B13158) on the incident so that I could advise the members of my BlockWatch on the details of the robbery. Although the police were called to investigate a robbery, they soon found that the residents were in possession of several bags of marijuana which were impounded. During the course of the investigation, the residents identified themselves as roommates - all five of them. The home is owned by a woman who's address in on Raymond St. here in Bellingham. I began to wonder if she knew that her home had become an illegal rooming house and was used as a place to consume drugs. A search of property records on the website of the Whatcom County Assessor's Office revealed that the single family home has only 3 bedrooms which makes one wonder why it has apparently been rented to five single persons. In any event, now armed with a police report indicating that the home is occupied by more than three unrelated people, I filed a code enforcement complaint with the Permit Office. It will be interesting to see the manner in which the Permit Office will investigate the complaint which is primarily based on a police report in which the occupants have already admitted the violation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For years My efforts to get action on student occupants of a neighboring property were rejected on the basis (the city said) of difficulty of proof.

I know a year or so ago 5 tickets were issued to my (then) neighbors which would seem absolute evidence of 5 leasers.

The zonemaven however has done what I did not and in filing a report has sort of socked it to the department who now do not have the "difficulty" rationale.

Interesting to see if the city cares about zone violations because now they have a cut and dried case to pursue, unburdened by a need to prove anything. Its all in the police report.