Residents worry squatters bringing unwanted crime to neighborhood

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- One South Bend neighborhood says squatters have taken over the corner of Carroll and Victoria Street.

Residents say the van has been parked in their neighborhood for over a month and since it’s arrival – they say car break ins and illegal dumpings have become common.

“A couple weeks ago me and my dog rex were walking first thing in the morning and smelled a weird smell coming out of it. You know, walked by and smelled like and it was a chemical smell," said Donny Huys, a concerned resident.

Huys worries squatters living in the van are bringing unwanted crime to his neighborhood.

“There was needles all over the alley and they were milling around the alley all hours of the night," said Huys.

South Bend Code Enforcement confirms they've been out to the site for calls of illegal dumping since the van’s arrival.

Huys says there’s been recent break ins.

All something he’s never seen in the neighborhood the one he has lived in his entire life.

Frustrated, he’s given calls to code enforcement and the South Bend Police Department.

“They have came out and they’ve given you know warnings and violations and whatnot. He said that you know they’re parked on a public street so there’s not really a whole lot we can do," said Huys.

Since the unmarked van has been parked on public property for more than three days without being moved, it’s now scheduled to be towed.

The St. Joseph County’s new code enforcement program is expected to handle complaints more effectively – including overgrown plants, abandoned vehicles, and public nuisances.

Huys hopes to see it work quicker than it has in his neighborhood.

“I like to be proactive with my neighborhood. If I had control over everything, man I, everything would look really nice, but I can’t and all I can do is like you know try to give nudges by calling code," said Huys.

Code enforcement is scheduled to tow the van on Friday if not moved by 1 pm.

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