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San Jose intensifies crusade against abandoned vehicles

San Jose steps up crackdown on abandoned vehicles
San Jose steps up crackdown on abandoned vehicles 02:22

San Jose officials are declaring war on abandoned vehicles after residents complained it takes too long for cars to be removed from neighborhoods.

Robyn Estrada, an account executive in San Jose, travels around the city making sales calls during her day.

"I'm constantly driving for Western Site Services," Estrada said.

Driving to active construction sites takes her to many different parts of the city.

"I see a lot of things that need to be fixed in San Jose, abandoned cars being one of them."

They're not hard to find, and Mayor Matt Mahan says neighbors have been speaking up.

"Just in the first few months of the year, we actually received over 6,000 complaints from our citizens of abandoned vehicles in our neighborhoods, in front of businesses," Mahan said at a news conference at City Hall.

Some abandoned cars have been apparently been sitting for months, or even years. Others are stolen, and many more seem to be just junked on city streets.

The problem in San Jose is that there was a confusing mixture of ways to report them, and shifting responsibilities.

"Today we are announcing the new vehicle concerns update that makes it easlier to be part of the solution," Mahan said.

It's an update to the city's 311 app, which is available to download for free.

"If a reported vehicle is stolen, it will be routed to our police department for an immediate response," Mahan said.

Although Robyn lives in San Jose, this was the first time she tried out the app.

It allows users to fill in the location of abandoned cars and describe the make and model, and connects to their camera app so that they can take a picture. You can also report graffiti and potholes on the same app.

"I like that you can report different things in your neighborhood and if things happen faster, you feel better about where you live," Robyn said.

The city hopes more neighbors will download the app and use it, but it will take time to see if it makes a difference in cleaning up blight in San Jose

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