Monday, January 25, 2010

CCSO Participates In Distressed Property Sweep

Deputies fanned across Golden Gate and Golden Gate Estates last week, looking for trespassers, vandalism and other possible criminal activity in the largest sweep of distressed properties in Collier County.

Deputies teamed up with Collier County Code Enforcement officers and county utility investigators. The effort was conducted Jan. 21 in coordination with the Golden Gate Task Force. The task force is made up of Golden Gate residents and representatives of several county government agencies, including CCSO.

More than 20 deputies, eight code enforcers and two utility investigators broke up into two-person teams, covering streets off of Golden Gate Boulevard and west of Wilson Boulevard and streets off of 16th Avenue Southwest and 23rd Street Southwest.

The teams inspected foreclosed and abandoned properties, looking for possible criminal activity and code violations. Members wrote down possible violations on a worksheet and took photographs. Deputies also distributed literature with safety tips and information on reporting abandoned homes.

Of the 150 properties that were inspected, code enforcers opened 74 new code cases. In cases opened on properties in foreclosure, code enforcers will attempt to work with the banks to try to remedy the situation.

The sweep was part of CCSO’s Community Caretaking Initiative, which seeks to identify houses in foreclosure and disarray and help the owners get the properties back up to code.

Based on the “Broken Window” theory, the program’s goal is to prevent homes from deteriorating and becoming attractive to vandals.

Anyone who knows of an abandoned home in Collier County is urged to contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239.252.9300, or click here to make an anonymous report and CCSO will investigate.

Click here to learn more about CCSO's Community Caretaking Initiative.

Jeff Letourneau, center, investigative supervisor for Collier County Code Enforcement, briefs deputies, code enforcers and utility investigators outside the Golden Gate Community Center before they headed out to inspect abandoned and foreclosed properties on Jan. 21. Photos by Kristi Lester/CCSO.

Cpl. Robert Capizzi stands outside of a two-story rental property at 5021 Coronado Parkway in Golden Gate. The property, which is in foreclosure, has more than $90,000 in code violations, Capizzi said.

Cpl. Capizzi inspects an abandoned property at 3030 39th St. S.W. in the Estates.