Neighbors want Indian Trail problem house residents gone

SPOKANE, Wash. - Drugs, fights, property crime are all part of daily life for one Indian Trail neighborhood and they say the problems have been coming from one chronic nuisance house for the last year.

Two weeks ago, police raided the home in the 10100 block of North Seminole. They found meth, drug paraphernalia and seven people were arrested. Neighbors said that did little to help, because the people were back inside the home the very next day.

Then, Thursday night, police were again back at the home to arrest four people for outstanding warrants.

Indian Trail problem house

"We've had violent fights out on the street, domestic violence, we've seen guns, fist fights, cars bashed in," neighbor Brent Herberg said.

Herberg has only lived in his home for a year-and-a-half. For about nine months of that time he's been reporting suspicious activity at the nuisance home.

"There's been 73 different cars in and out of there, we've given the police department all of those licenses, we've made 63 911 [and] Crime Check calls," Herberg said, then added those 63 calls don't include the dozens his neighbors have also made.

The recent police activity prompted a Neighborhood Watch meeting Wednesday night. Herberg says 84 people packed the meeting room to hear what can be done next to rid their neighborhood of chronic crime.

Lois Howes was at the meeting. She's lived in the Indian Trail neighborhood for 11 years and for the last year her life has been spent watching, documenting and waiting for peace to return.

"We're scared, we're concerned, we live differently now," Howes said. "I've turned in license plate numbers, times, dates, people, activity that goes on, what we see."

Both Herberg and Howes have installed security measures and keep various weapons around their homes for personal protection."

"Like I said, I'm scared, concerned, but they will not intimidate me," Howes said.

At Wednesday's meeting, Herberg, Howes and the rest of their neighbors were given a new option from a Spokane City Attorney. According to neighbors, they've been asked to turn in any and all evidence they have that this house is a "chronic nuisance" under city municipal code.

If the attorney is successful in convincing a judge the house would be boarded up for at least a year and neighbors hope that will finally shut out the problem.

"We're hoping it'll come to an end, but we've still got a few weeks to go," Herberg said.

Throughout the nine months of what neighbors said is constant criminal activity, they have one success to cheer for; they organized a Neighborhood Watch group. They've established a phone and email tree so that if any activity is seen everyone in the neighborhood knows about it.

Herberg and Lowes said they hope other neighborhoods learn from them and also get organized against crime. They just hope it's done before a problem starts.