Crime at Vacant Apartment Complex in Beloit

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BELOIT (WIFR) -- Crime is becoming a problem at an apartment complex in Beloit after dozens of people are forced out of their homes claiming the building’s owner will not fix major structural problems. The now-vacant building is leading to break-ins and frustration.

Signs deeming apartments unfit for living line the doors of a 54-unit complex on Park Avenue in Beloit. Wendy Martinez-Hernandez is just one of the dozens of tenants who was forced to move out after the property owner failed to respond to orders to fix broken boilers, a leaking roof and pipes.

“Frustrated because I just came from the Dominican Republic, I had to move out of her apartment , I don’t have any money.”

Martinez-Hernandez moved out two weeks ago and has come back for the rest of her stuff. She’s not the only one who has left items behind. Personal belongings, even a stocked fridge fill the units and that’s causing problems.

The main door has been pried open and the garage door is completely torn off.

“People are getting into this building.”

They’re breaking into units, they’re burglarizing individual units because the people are out, but their stuff might still be there.”

Garbage is another problem. It lines the units, hallways and the front of the building. The dumpster was frozen to the ground, so it hasn’t been emptied.

“We’re doing everything we can to try to encourage the owner to fix the property and discourage any crime or other issues from happening to the property.”

Beloit city leaders met with police today to try to figure out their next steps. The city is sending a contractor to get the garbage tomorrow it will also board up the building since the owner did not meet last night’s midnight deadline to secure it. We did speak with the owner on the phone this afternoon. He wasn’t able to comment at the time. We’re still waiting to hear back.

It is possible for the city to tear down the complex, but it would have to inspect the building, condemn it and then give the owner time to respond. The city is also working with former tenants to connect them to resources.

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