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The Orchards @ Anderson Heights Homeowners' Blog

The Official blog of The Orchards @ Anderson Heights – made by homeowners, for homeowners

The High Co$t of Vandalism

Neighbors,

The cost of vandalism is rising in the Orchards.  We aren’t 4 months into 2012 and we have paid $13,359.00 in gate repairs, lock repairs and graffiti removal.  This is a serious problem!

Be on the lookout for suspicious people and report them to the proper authorities immediately – or if you’re like me, you might go ask someone what they are doing.

If you see someone hit the gates, get their license plate number and if you know the home they go to, get the address and report that to EnTrust as well. As a community, we can hold people accountable for damage and make them pay.

Call EnTrust if you have any information on vandalism in our community.  If someone is arrested and convicted or a homeowner can be held responsible, you could receive a substantial reward!

The Orchards – Sub-Association &
Anderson Heights – Master Association
enTrust
2823 Richmond Dr. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 765-5800 fax (505) 765-5858

Chris
President – The Orchards Board of Directors

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24 Responses to “The High Co$t of Vandalism”

  1. Robert says:

    Vandalism is just one of those senseless expenses that absolutely guarantees that our monthly assessments will just keep rising. $13K would have paid for a lot in our community, but instead goes to pay for someone’s complete lack of respect for this community.

  2. DLGray-Wurz says:

    Both my husband and I have no problem with calling APD when seeing a crime happening.
    Neighbors need to be aware of activity around new construction as well.
    Last weekend before the concrete was poured, he chased teenagers off a corner lot at least three times.
    Now that the construction has progressed, there has been activity on the property that are not construction workers nor KB affiliated. APD arrived to handle the trespassers.

  3. Unknown says:

    What’s the reward for information about the Geaffiti taggers? I might know who did all of it.

  4. Melissa says:

    I agree it’s a problem, but I was wondering why we’re paying for graffiti removal. The city will remove it all for free and within 24 hours, even if it’s within our gates. Why aren’t we routing issues to them instead of paying for removal ourselves?

  5. Melissa says:

    Why wouldn’t you report it regardless of the amount? You’re paying for it every month in your dues.

  6. Deborah says:

    Are you serious? You need to know the amount of the reward to report who committed a crime?

  7. Travis says:

    @Unknown

    Your reward is doing your civic duty to stop crime and keep our dues down. Don’t be such a greedy SOB!

  8. Jack says:

    @Unknown, How much do you want? Or how much do you think that information is worth???

  9. Deborah says:

    It should be worth knowing you’ve done the right thing!

  10. Deborah says:

    Beware! Teenagers are walking the walls between properties again!

  11. Mario says:

    I think we shall do something about leting people in if we dont know if they live here, yesterday i notice someone was following me during the day, later i saw the same carr passing slow next to my vehicle like checking it out. Who let them in ?

  12. Mario says:

    If you know(unknown) who did the grafiti tell us who and we will report it to APD.is not rigth that we have to pay for it.

  13. Travis says:

    @ Mario,

    I hear your concern & also thought it strange that people would just let someone in they don’t know. I have had cold calls from the gate box before & I never let anyone in that I am not expecting or know. I advise all residents to do the same.

    Also, unless we go to a double entry gate system, ie an outer gate opens you drive in it closes & then an inner gate opens to allow you entry. We will always have people follow on the tailpipes of a legitimate entry. When I was on the board we did shorten the amount of time the gates are held open after someone enters. But you can only shorten so much otherwise you end up with increased risk of the gates closing on someone before they have cleared the area. The best bet that I can offer to you and all residents is to call APD when you see a suspicious car just trolling the neighborhood, and try to get the lic. plate # if you can.

  14. Angela says:

    How about installing video surveillance cameras to catch the people responsible for damaging the gates. This would give the information needed to charge them for the damages.The assessment fees will always be there but why nor put some money into cameras to deter the graffiti and damages?

  15. Travis says:

    @Angela

    This is a good idea on paper. In practice it doesn’t work so great.

    During the time I was a board member this was discussed ad nauseum but after looking to other communities that have cameras and discovering that they have close to zero luck pressing charges and getting any kind of legal recourse it was decided the cost was not worth it.

    The cost I speak of was the cost to run electricity to where ever we needed to mount a camera, the cost of the camera (a good camera that would withstand elements & vandalism & have good pic was not going to be cheap), the cost of the DVR (again a good quality one was not cheap), the cost to create a secure place to house a DVR (most likely the pool house), the cost of running cable from the camera to the DVR (at the time wireless was out because of the distance from the gate to the pool house, not sure if wireless tech has improved & become cost effective since that time approx 1 to 2 years ago.) Trust me the board in the past has looked at all of this and I am sure they have looked at it since, but like in the past I’m sure the cost can’t be justified knowing from other communities that prosecution is all but impossible.

  16. Mark says:

    We are considering cameras. The two things we know are hurdles to overcome are the cost of a system and finding a place to install it. Also, enTrust has advised us that camera systems installed in other communities suffer the same fate: they become targets for youths (and adults acting like children) with BB guns, making them as much of an ongoing risk for replacement as the gates themselves. Finally, we are considering enTrust’s advice on the effectiveness of video footage. Would you believe that there are judges actively serving who will actually throw out video? If we go to trial and get one of those judges, we will have wasted our time, and more importantly, money. While the idea is sound, we need to consider it carefully…

    One of the most important things we can do as ask everyone to be vigilant. Call APD if you witness vandalism in progress, then call enTrust. If you see something that has been vandalized but you did not see who did it, call enTrust to make sure they engage our vendors to fix it. It shouldn’t matter if there is a reward…protecting the community and its finances should be the goal, not self-enrichment.

    Mark Racicot
    Vice President, The Orchards HOA BoD

  17. Connie says:

    There is no reason to worry who’s coming in and out of a “SECURE” Community if the gates are continuously open?

  18. Mark says:

    Connie-

    Thank you for bringing this thought up. Please understand when you read my reply that I mean to address the subject of “security” versus “privacy”, NOT you personally.

    By calling them “security gates”, there is an implication that somehow everyone’s security is enhanced by the gates. In reality, we can make no such claim, and we must (for legal and moral reasons) state very clearly that they are NOT security gates. If we had a 24×7 security guard checking people into and out of the community, that would be a “security gate”. Anyone characterizing this community as a “secure community” is wrong to do so.

    What we have is a “privacy gate”. The gates are meant to discourage (NOT prevent) entry of unwanted/unauthorized persons.

    I know that it seems like we are splitting hairs, but the distinction is VERY important to the HOA.

    Please allow me to touch on one more thing: security of the community is enhanced BEST when its members are alert for trouble and they report the trouble they see. As stated earlier in this topic, call APD for emergencies by calling 911, report non-emergencies to 242-COPS (242-2677), and call enTrust at 217-1123 to report vandalism like broken gates, missing signs, and the like.

    WE are the best defense against people who do the things that cost us money or are disrespectful to the community. Help us protect the community by being part of the community.

    Mark Racicot
    Vice President, The Orchards HOA BoD

  19. Travis says:

    The board has pointed this fact out in the past but it doesn’t hurt to re-emphasize this with all the new homes being built and with homes renting & selling within the community.

    And before anyone asks I’m pretty sure the HOA can’t afford to have a security guard standing around 24×7, at least we couldn’t when I was on the board last year & somehow I doubt that has changed. And I’m sure someone will ask “well how much does it cost?” Let me paint a picture. Last year we paid in the neighborhood of $11-$13 an hour for the guard at the pool. Doing the math at the low end of $11 gives you a yearly total of $96360.00. This does not take into account the money we would need to redesign the entrance and build a security house.

    Thank you Mark for readdressing this.

  20. Julia says:

    I’m curious about when the gates will be fixed and closed again? And how much additional cost is going to be incurred, especially for the back gate that looks destroyed. :( My sons also just told me that the walking gate’s been broken for months now. So, if we’re concerned about people walking the walls to get into our community…

  21. chris says:

    @Julia,
    The Board approved the gate repairs (for another ~$6,500) on Tuesday. GateIt, our gate specialists, will be there soon to begin the replacement of the gate.

    As for the pedestrian gate, thanks for letting us know. In the future, you can also contact EnTrust via phone or this website. By the way, can you let us know which pedestrian gate is broken?

    Chris
    President, The Orchards BoD

  22. Julia says:

    Ouch! :( So sad to hear! I don’t get why people think that kind of destruction is okay… Thanks for the info! The front walking gate, apparently it no longer requires a code. This is from my kids, I haven’t tried it personally.

    Thanks – Julia

  23. Mark says:

    Julia-

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I know you just found out about it, and you acted as quickly as possible.

    To everyone…Julia has the right idea about broken stuff. Pat would rather get 10 calls in a day about the same broken thing than not know something is wrong for days, weeks, or months. Please report what you see that needs fixing. After all, she can’t fix it is no one tells her it’s broken! :)

    Mark Racicot
    Vice President, The Orchards HOA BoD

  24. webmaster says:

    Hello –
    Catching up on the blog…

    I would like to add that since the Board made the decision to keep the gates open during high traffic hours (morning and evening rush) and the radiator spikes on the exit gates has resulted in a significant reduction in gate damage and costs. The first 6 months of this year was just ridiculous, but since June/July, there has been a serious reduction in damages/repairs!!!

    Chris
    President – Board of Directors

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