ELK GROVE (CBS13) - A neighborhood in Elk Grove held a Thanksgiving celebration a day early to mark the end of a two-and-a-half-year nightmare.
The house at 6136 Demonte Way brought drugs, prostitution and violence into the neighborhood and resulted in more than 200 police calls for service. City officials say they'd never seen anything like it before but had also apparently never seen a neighborhood watch so well organized.
"You have to take control of your neighborhood," said JaMeyla Barclay, who lives next door to what some have called the house from hell. "You have to stand up to people and say 'we're not going to deal with this.'"
Neighborhood pressure led to the arrest last summer of Kiran Rawat, the property owner, and her husband Raghvendra "Raj" Singh. Singh remains jailed on fraud and forgery charges.
The house has been placed under the supervision of a court-appointed receiver. Realtor Lynn Wilson Collins prepared the house to be sold at auction next week, which required five 40-yard dumpsters to haul away the abandoned furniture and trash.
"I've done a lot of foreclosed homes before but this one is by far one of the worst ones I've seen," Collins said.
Collins held an open house Wednesday for neighbors and city officials. Among those touring the property was Elk Grove City Attorney Jonathan Hobbs, who credited the neighborhood's persistence for the happy resolution.
"It was really the neighbors just continuing to press this issue and we wanted to bring back a quality of life to the neighborhood," he said.
The city councilwoman representing the neighborhood said other neighborhoods could learn from this one.
"They did not give up," said Stephanie Nguyen. "So often people give up because who wants to fight this for years?"
Neighborhood watch captain Nate Champion offered coffee and donuts in his garage a couple of doors away.
"When you've spent two-and-a-half years on something like this it's nice to be able to enjoy the moment when it all wraps up," he said.
The house will be sold at a public auction in the front yard on Dec. 5 at 10:00 am, subject to confirmation by a superior court judge. The bidding starts at $415,000.
for more features.