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SPPD: Two pre-Christmas drive-by shootings could lead to evictions

January 07, 2000
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula police investigators are still looking into two pre-Christmas drive-by shooting incidents that they donít believe are related to each other, but could fall under guidelines of state laws that frowns on landlords maintaining property where there are public nuisances. The first incident - which police believe is gang related - occurred on Dec. 20 in the early morning hours. A residence and vehicle were shot at in the 100 block of Walden St., on the northwest end of the city. There were no witnesses to the shooting.On the same morning at approximately 2 a.m., a second drive-by shooting occurred in the 300 block of South Oak Street, which investigators do not believe is to be gang related or have any connection to the earlier incident. No one was injured during the dual shooting incidents and the investigation is continuing.But law enforcement has a tool that is gaining popularity: both Santa Paula shootings will be evaluated and a recommendation may be made to the property owners. If the incidents fall within the strict guidelines of the Safe Streets Act, the property owners may evict any tenants that created the problems.The Safe Streets Act allows landlords more legal leeway in riding their property of problematic tenants and offers incentives to do same: if a landlord allows such incidents to continue from tenants of their property, they could find themselves legally responsible and have to answer to a judge.
A nuisance can even be legally deemed on the part of the intended victim, especially if they are targeted through gang activity.Strict laws govern renters rights but the Safe Streets Act allows tenants to be evicted in a more timely manner and offers more legal protections to landlords under its guidelines.