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Tale of two neighborhoods plagued with ‘drug problem’

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POSTED July 9, 2014 1:25 a.m.

She lives practically next to a “drug house” in a Manteca neighborhood that many of the property owners know about it.

She believes more than 95 percent of her neighbors are aware of what’s going on but have chosen to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the problem for a number of reasons.

“They will do nothing because of fear, denial, or they don’t want to get involved, or all of those things,” said the Family City resident who did not want her name in print because of her close proximity to the drug house.

But although she asked for anonymity, she said she always calls the police to report suspicious activities taking place at the drug house. She added that she is also constantly encouraging her neighbors to do the same but won’t do anything because of the reasons given above.

“They will not call the police and say anything about the drug activity on the street and that, to me, is frustrating because people don’t want to get involved,” the Bulletin reader said.

“Chief (Nick) Obligacion has said that the people in the neighborhood are the eyes and ears for the police department. But in talking to my neighbors, either they are fearful or they think someone will do it, or they expect the police to do it. And they will not call the police and say anything about the drug activity on the street.”

So their problem persists and the drug house is still there, she said.

“I think the police department is trying to do a good job to monitor what’s going on in the city. But drugs and everything else that goes with it is just a big problem,” she said with a tinge of resignation.

It’s easy to understand the reader’s frustration over the drug activity that has been festering in her neighborhood and her neighbors’ unwillingness to band together in getting rid of the social cancer that’s eating up their peace and quiet. On the other hand, one can also understand the fear that her neighbors have against any possible retaliation.

But at least one residential area in north Manteca has shown what happens when the entire neighborhood gets involved and firmly sends the message to one and all that it will not tolerate drugs or any illegal activity taking place where they live. Every time they noticed suspicious activities happening in the same house just a holler away from where they live – different vehicles coming in and out at all times of the day and throughout night, an unusually high level of visitor traffic at all times at the residential property, plus rowdy late-night parties – the homeowners reported all these to the police.

The homeowners also happened to know the owners of the house who have moved out and turned their property into a rental while waiting for the economy to get better so they could sell it. The owners’ cooperation – they got rid of the problem renters – and the police response to the residents’ reports by simply increasing their visibility and patrolling the neighborhood, all conspired to bring the situation to a happy resolution for all concerned.

Today, a few years later, this north Manteca residential area remains a quiet neighborhood and the neighbors continue to look out for each other.

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1 comment
Greekkisses: 1 month, 2 weeks ago

We had a lady who lived in this neighborhood since the homes were built. She lost her husband and when the economy tanked she had to let her home go into foreclosure. The attorney's paralegal handling the property took advantage. He moved in and thus began months and months of problems. Traffic all day and night, parties, people riding by on bicycles for a quick stop. As a few of us noticed the goings on we started to band together. One of the neighbors knows a police officer and began to detail the problems. Once all was said and done a sting occurred and we found out that the drug dealer in question is one of the largest in the area. Dangerous. Our neighborhood is now clean. Folks should come together and get rid of the danger from their communities.

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