Overgrown vacant land, criminals’ hideout

2015-04-30 14:53

THE owner of a lodge in Ramsgate, Harcourt Street, says she lives in fear because of overgrown bush on an empty property next door to her lodge.

Verona Baldi of Positano Lodge says vagrants and criminals have been using this bush as a hideout, waiting to pounce on the innocent and rob them.

“I have owned the lodge for 19 years. The crime only started about 10 years ago when the property­ next door became vacant­,” she said.

Baldi has contacted the Hibiscus Coast Municipality (HCM) several times over the years but was rendered no assistance by them.

“I can’t leave any items outside. Not even a hose pipe. It’s gone before you know it,” she said.

Baldi said her guests have also been robbed at knife point over the years and many question why she always keeps her doors locked.

“It’s not the norm for a lodge. A lodge is supposed to be welcoming.

A few years ago she said, two students were robbed on the street and their lodge room key was taken­.

Two days later the room was broken into and their belongings stolen.

“The key holder had the name of the lodge and the room number, but I have since changed that system,” she said.

Baldi asked HCM to contact the owner of the vacant property and get him to clear it or for them to clear it and send him the bill.

“Nothing has been done. It’s also an eyesore. There are beautiful houses on this street.”

HCM was approached for comment but none was made available to the Fever at the time of going to press.

The Fever made attempts to contact the owner of the vacant stand telephonically, but in vain

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