Neighbors worry abandoned homes attract crime in Sylvan Heights

Neighbors worry abandoned homes attract crime in Sylvan Heights (Image 1)

People living in a west Nashville neighborhood are worried about abandoned homes on their street being hot spots for crime.

Residents on Chamberlin Street in Sylvan Heights told News 2 they have complained about the homes to the Metro Codes Department, but nothing has been done.

Kate Gallagher lives next to three vacant homes and fears they are attracting the wrong kind of people to the neighborhood.

On Friday evening, Gallagher received a call from Metro police about a burglary at her residence.

Someone had broken through her back fence and gained entry to her home by smashing out a back glass.

Thieves ransacked the house, vandalized it and took off with electronics.  Before leaving, the burglars set the home on fire.

“They took a towel from my bathroom and put it on my stove and started a fire in my kitchen,”

Gallagher wasn't home at the time.  Her neighbor saw her dogs running around the yard and knew something wasn't right.

When he took a closer look, he saw smoke and called 911.  Firefighters were able to put out the small fire.

Gallagher told News 2 she no longer wants to live in her home. 

“I'm in the process of moving away from the area because after three and a half years I just don't feel safe anymore,” she said. 

Just six months ago, someone broke into one of Gallagher's neighbor's home and also set it on fire.

Many residents in the area are adding alarms, lights and cameras to keep their homes secure.

The abandoned homes have become a place of crime, according to those who live nearby.

News 2 contacted the Metro Codes Department and was told it is aware of the vacant properties on Chamberlin Street.

The department plans to send inspectors out to take a look at the homes to make sure they are secure.

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