For the past year, there has been a transformation at the house at 310 Mildred that is like a horrible reality show that neighbors have reluctantly had to witness, participate in, and in many cases be the victim of. The house first hit our radar screen last August/September 2011 when people would send in reports for loud music pounding like a “rave” at all hours. Then, the construction began… which was more like de-struction. The interior of the home was gutted – during all hours of the day and night. A ramshackle “bio-dome” was built on the roof. A spiral staircase was fashioned along the outside to access the “bio-dome”. A rectangle was spray painted on the curbed space in front of the house saying “tow-away zone” which morphed into the occupant painting the curb white and putting up home made tow-away signs. And then the stealing began.
The occupant, not being able to pay for any kind of services to the home, rigged up stealing power from an adjacent home. DWP came out and removed the illegal rigging and filed a theft of services report. Then about a month later neighbors reported a significant number of pot plants in the “bio-dome”. LAPD removed 69 marijuana plants and arrested the occupant who goes by “Nick”. Then power was re-rigged to the house from the apartment building behind the house. When DWP removed that illegal wiring comments were made to neighbors by DWP personnel that whomever rigged the stolen power knew what they were doing. For lack of a better description it was a “professional job”. The water and gas services and meters had also been vandalized to let services flow. They were capped and shut off.
The parade of people in and out of the house on a daily basis has included the arrest of a parolee-at-large, drug dealers ( including the occupant ) and known bike thieves. Lately neighbors have reported a teenager that looks to be about 13 yrs old coming and going from the home on his skateboard. Last night the situation hit a tipping point. Neighbors reported several of the seemingly clearly drug induced occupants stealing their water. The police arrived and one of the suspects led police on a foot pursuit and was caught on the corner of Strongs and N. Venice. He refused to give police his name, and then faked a heart attack demanding to go to the hospital. As of midnight he was being “blue checked” where LAPD runs his fingerprints through a system to reveal his identity which he steadfastly did not want to give up.
During the foot pursuit two other officers were apprehending another suspect who was stealing water when they heard what sounded like gunshots. Neighbors from the apartments across the way also came outside saying they heard what sounded like gunshots from inside the home. An airship was called and LAPD set up a perimeter around the house. Nick, the primary occupant was on the roof and the LAPD airship announced to him to surrender, come out of the home and give himself up to officers. Several people poured out of the house and were taken into custody.
The home was searched while local neighbors gazed in amazement. Many commented that they figured “it would end this way”. From the narcotics busts, illegal construction, stealing services from neighbors and non-stop mayhem they have lived adjacent to the house wondering how someone can get away with that kind of behavior. Aside from what has become regular arrests for specific offenses, prosecuting the occupant for the theft of electricity, gas and water takes time. The owner of the home has been hard to reach, and most times when attempts have been made to contact her, Nick answers the phone. Neighbors told me about the craigslist ad to live there, offering a room for $800/mo to live in an “eco” home free of gas, electricity and water. When people attempt to park in the street parking space they tried to spray paint for themselves, when neighbors have approached them for stealing outside hose water, leaving trash and debris on their property, etc. – Nick has threatened to:
- Chop their heads off
- Slit their throats
- Have them killed
- Make sure they disappear so nobody ever finds them
- Will have their car blow up while they are driving
Also he says the cops can’t touch him because he is too smart for them.
He’s a real peach. Last week he called LAPD and the coroner to the home himself, saying that while he was (illegally) digging up the floor in the home he found many bones that he thought might be human. They turned out to be cow bones. Nobody knows how they got there… it just adds to the legacy of weirdness.
After all the mayhem last night, all, including Nick were released with the exception of the man who led police on a foot pursuit. One of the guys who was stealing water walked over to myself and a group of neighbors standing nearby to “hang out” until he could get back into the house. He was absolutely drugged out of his mind. One of the neighbors he stole water from that started the whole escapade asked him why he stole water. He said he was just there painting, and Nick told him to go get some water from the neighbors… he didn’t see a problem with that and said it wasn’t his fault because he was told to do it. When poised with the question as to why the house he was in didn’t have water, and if he thought it was weird they had to sneak over and get it from neighbors he replied, ” I didn’t see any problem with it, I didn’t know there wasn’t a neighborly bond”. While LAPD had the house shut off for a search at least 9 people nervously walked around staring at the house wanting to get “their stuff”.
Neighbors are hoping that the department of building and safety and the health department will condemn the home in the coming weeks. I have no doubt there will be more to add to this soon.