Neighbors fight overgrowth they say contributes to crime on their block

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Homeowners on the east side say they're tired of overgrowth on their block, particularly from one house next door.

Beth Thompson called CBS4 after someone cut the lock on her storage shed and broke in a few weeks ago.

"They stole the power washer and ... I found it on the outside of the privacy fence," Thompson said.

She said that was the last straw for her, in what's become a long battle to manage the house that backs up to her property.

"Four houses now have been broken into and something just needs to be done," Thompson said.

Thompson and other neighbors blame the overgrowth at that home, which is on the corner of 25th and Post Road, and along the rest of their block, for recent crime. Thompson also said she's concerned that it is causing danger for people who wait on the corner at the bus stop.

"It’s not right for the other neighbors who do keep their lawns up," Thompson said.

Her next-door neighbor, Willie Pinkton, said he's seen the crime in action.

"I’ve chased people out of my backyard. ... Two weeks ago I chased a guy out of my backyard that jumped my neighbor’s fence," Pinkton said.

CBS4 Problem Solvers looked into the property behind Thompson. We found dozens of reports made to Indianapolis Code Enforcement over the past several years. Most of the time, though, inspectors noted no violations.

A spokesperson for the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services said the property owners were told recently they were in violation, and they trimmed back the bushes near the bus stop. He said that overgrowth on private property is not considered a violation of city ordinance.

Thompson and Pinkton said they want the entire block cleaned up, and a light installed. They said they hoped someone in the city would listen and consider helping out.

"The city and law enforcement wants us to be their eyes and ears, want us to work with them. ... These are the situations that need to be addressed, we are reporting this stuff," Pinkton said.

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