DeKalb neighbors fed up with messy eviction process

by: Craig Lucie Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Family heirlooms, checkbooks and pictures - those are just some of the items Channel 2 Action News found strewn all over a DeKalb County lawn after an eviction.

Residents say evictions are happening every few days in one neighborhood, and they want the way they are handled changed.

Channel 2’s Craig Lucie went to one home on Johnathan Avenue in Lithonia, where personal belongings were thrown everywhere on the front lawn.

A family member told Lucie that their mother lived at the home, and they recently moved her into a nursing home. They say they didn't have time to get her belongings before everything was tossed outside.

“Every three to four days, this is happening at different homes all in the area,” said one concerned neighbor who didn’t want to be identified.

Residents say they had a meeting Thursday night about the frequent evictions and the mess left behind.

“They leave it there until someone comes and gets it, so that could be there for the next two weeks, maybe,” explained Ashley Johnson, who lives on Jonathan Avenue.

Neighbors say when the DeKalb County Marshal's Office removes the items; they are neatly placed in the lawn. They say people driving by stop and start rummaging through everything.

“Identity theft! We found checkbooks. We found credit cards. We found all personal items and things,” said a neighbor.

Lucie spotted four checkbooks in the lawn and food that was tossed into the grass from their refrigerator.

“I wouldn't want my belongings treated that way,” said Johnson.

Neighbors say they are reaching out to code enforcement and DeKalb County's interim CEO, because they feel evictions need to be handled in a more respectful way, so they don’t have to clean up the mess.

“When they start doing their evictions, put a dumpster on the site,” said another neighbor.

Lucie reached out to a DeKalb County spokesman to find out the protocol when dealing with an eviction and he's still waiting to hear back.