DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - Residents scared for their safety in a community on Detroit’s east side after scrappers target an abandoned school call 7 Action News for help.
People living nearby the old school tell 7 Action News the scrappers are working day and night to rip off the building and now they fear that their homes will become the next target.
You might think we were walking through a war zone when you look at the video, but it’s really the old Marcus Garvey Academy on the east side of Detroit. Anything of value inside the school is being stolen by scrappers.
“As a community we can’t take it no more,” said Alicia Adams. Adams lives nearby she says the school has been abandoned for about two years and over the past few months the scrappers have been hard at work.
“You just hear a bunch of boom, boom, boom,” said Adams.
“Clanging and banging and taking stuff out of the buildings,” said Kevan Stewart. Stewart lives in the community and owns a home improvement business so he sees the scrappers at all hours of the day doing their damage. The scrappers have even knocked out walls, like in the bathroom to get to the pipes. Everything in sight gets ripped off and out, night and day.
“You mean they are actually pushing carts down the street in the daylight?” I asked Stewart. “Yep. Pretty bold,” he said.
People do not feel safe and are afraid the scrappers will start robbing them. Adams said they have called police.
“We call the police repeatedly, so I said yesterday, I said well this will be my last time calling you because you guys aren’t coming,” said Adams.
Adams said they have called Detroit Public Schools.
“They sent one DPS car with one guy in there. When it’s like a group of four or five young men who are coming up here and doing this,” said Adams.
After not getting anywhere, 7 Action News stepped in and called both DPS and DPD.
A spokesperson from the school district released this statement:
“Detroit Public Schools has a responsibility to be good stewards within the communities in which we own property, be it open or closed schools. We offer a safe, secure learning environment once students walk through our doors, but the reality is that in order to get to school they must travel through areas filled with blight.
Although the District has limited resources, it takes its responsibility to secure and maintain its properties very seriously, and the District is working hand in hand with the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit in their ongoing neighborhood stabilization efforts.
We are also actively working to develop partnerships with local, regional and national organizations to assist us in these efforts and believe we will have something to announce soon on that front. The District continues to work aggressively to sell and lease its unused buildings to individuals and organizations that have creative ideas for enhancing the neighborhoods in which they sit.
As we are assessing the condition at the former Garvey and our next steps to address the condition of the building, we would like to underscore our appreciation and encouragement for neighbors who are watchful and report wrongdoing to us.” –Jennifer Mrozowski, Spokesperson Detroit Public Schools.
A spokesperson from the Detroit Police Department tells us they are looking into the matter.
The neighbors around here need something done sooner rather than later.
“They’re pretty brave to do it in the day time so they have no fear,” said Stewart.
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