Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I wasn't invited

Police break up party raging in foreclosed home

About 50 teenagers and young adults broke into an empty, foreclosed home in southwest Bakersfield Saturday, throwing a raging party and making off with the home’s high-end appliances, according to neighbors.

“They’re all out front, they’re drinking,” said Scelina Mitchell, who lives across the street from the home.

Bakersfield police visited the tidy, stone-accented house in the 4500 block of Whitegate Avenue twice in the early morning hours after receiving calls, police Lt. Brad Wahl said.

HSBC Bank USA repossessed the home in November, county records show. It sold for $540,000 in 2006, according to First American Real Estate Solutions, a data firm.

Vacant, foreclosed homes do not seem to be causing police significant problems, Wahl said.

“I haven’t heard or noticed anything like that on my shift,” Wahl said.

Mitchell and her husband, Matt Mitchell, said police simply dispersed the partygoers, and they worry the “nonchalant” response might attract future rabble rousers.

“What I would have liked was at least a reprimand,” Matt Mitchell said. “And a report filed.” On their normally quiet block, two other homes are in foreclosure, he said.

Wahl had limited information Saturday about what officers found at the home, and what actions they took, but he was reasonably certain no arrests were made.

A City Council committee approved a plan to track foreclosures, in an effort to limit neighborhood blight, on Feb. 19.

The plan may come before the full Council as early as this month.

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