ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s not a new problem for people in a northeast neighborhood near Eubank and Candelaria. They said vandalism in a nearby alley has been plaguing them for years. 

Now, with the recent uptick in crime in the alley, nearby homeowners are calling on the city to take action. They stated, over the past few months, it’s become overrun with homeless people, causing disruption at all hours of the day.

“It’s sketchy, to be honest with you. I mean there is lots of debris, and I encounter people occasionally also and not to judge the people that I see, but sometimes it’s kind of scary,” said neighbor Eric Niles.

Others in the neighborhood expressed concerns about vandalism and trash, such as alcohol containers, cigarette butts, and drug paraphernalia. They also mentioned holes were being dug in the alley, raising concerns for the community’s safety.

Home surveillance video shows several people loitering in and around the alley, using it as a restroom. Others are seen starting fires. Now, hoping to deter crime, homeowners have installed security cameras, motion-activated lights, no trespassing signs, and even created a neighborhood watch.

“It would be nice, actually, if our city councilor would come down and knock on our door, and we will walk her through the alley, so she could take a look, and I don’t think she has responded to all of this,” added Niles.

Policy Analyst for Albuquerque City Councilor Trudy Jones, who represents the far Northeast Heights says, Jones’ office has been made aware of the concerns, and they have been in contact with the neighbors.

Neighbors said they’re asking the city to install a gate that would only allow access to people living in the homes. However, a City of Albuquerque Planning and Zoning spokesperson says, since the alley is a city right-of-way, that process would likely run into challenges.

The city said anyone with concerns about homeless camps on city property should report them to 311 or 242-COPS. While a Solid Waste Department spokesperson says homeowners are responsible for maintaining areas adjacent to their homes, crews are sent out to clean up camps and hazardous waste.