• Neighbors say vacant home is attracting thieves

    By: Craig Lucie


    DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Some DeKalb County residents say a vacant home has become a storage unit for thieves.

    "It's a nightmare. I just want it gone," said Robert Phillips about the home on Riverbrook Court in Decatur.

    He says he's seen thieves go to the home at all hours of the night.

    "You will have thieves go steal property and go store it in the house. They will come back a couple days and collect it," said Phillips.

    And Phillips is not just talking about small loads of stolen goods.

    "They had a whole U-Haul load worth of stuff one night," said Phillips.

    He has called multiple agencies, multiple times including those who represent this area.
    So has Myra Alexander.
    "We have called code enforcement almost monthly. We have written a petition to our elected officials," explained Alexander.

    Neighbors first reached out to the homeowner when it caught fire five years ago.

    "The last thing we could find out about them is that they were in the DeKalb County jail," said Alexander.

    Channel 2's Craig Lucie checked and the owner has been in and out of jail since 2006.

    Phillips told us he cuts the lawn weekly and is doing what he can to keep the thieves away.

    "I boarded it up so if they have to store something, they have to break in there again to store again," explained Phillips.

    DeKalb County's spokesman told Lucie that the owner has been cited 19 times since 2005 for code enforcement violations. He also told Lucie that the county is looking into the possibility of demolishing the home, which is exactly what the neighbors want to see happen.

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