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Residents say it’s a complex situation

Posted: November 3, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: November 3, 2011 1:30 a.m.

The recent police dragnet for shooting suspects inside a Canyon Country condominium complex came as no surprise to some residents, who complain that crime has become a daily fixture there.

“We’ve had enough,” said one woman who lives in the complex as she stood in a small community park at Canyon Oaks.

She said she watched a marijuana transaction as she walked her dog in the park. “Kids are playing here, kids are playing there, and I’m standing here on the grass watching him do it,” she said.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested four individuals Monday night in the condo complex and cordoned one building off while kids where trick-or-treating.

Two of those apprehended were later released but a third suspect was arrested at an undisclosed location in a shooting Monday afternoon that left one man dead and another injured.

The shooting occurred during an apparent robbery at a strip mall on Soledad Canyon Road.
The search focused on Canyon Oaks, formerly known as the American Beauty condos, when the suspects fled to that location.

A supervisor with Security Specialists, the firm a resident identified as responsible for security at Canyon Oaks, gave his name to a reporter but asked that it not be published due to concerns for his personal safety.

He denied some residents’ report that two security guards had been beaten at Canyon Oaks, but he confirmed guards used pepper spray a few months ago on one suspect “that wanted to go at us.”

Asked if open drug dealing went on in the central park area of the complex, the supervisor replied: “There is in some areas.”
“The Sheriff’s Department has been notified about it. ... They’re trying to get a handle on it,” the supervisor said.
“We also try to deter those activities,” he said. “We make contact with loiterers.”

The interviewed residents, two women and three men, singled out two particular buildings near the complex’s main pool and children’s play area as the source of the drug dealing.

Some blamed the complex’s homeowners association.

One woman in a housecoat, leaning out of a second floor balcony near the pool, commented on recurring crime when she noticed a reporter interviewing people at the park below.

“Every day it goes on,” said one woman in a housecoat, leaning out of a second-story balcony near the pool. “Over there, over here. And nothing is done. The HOA is worthless.”

“I’ve watched over the past two years trouble in the pool area, stepped-up patrol,” said resident James Koehler. “Sheriff’s deputies are in this complex every other day, every night.”


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