The Shasta County District Attorney's Office has filed a lawsuit against a Redding motel in an effort to curb criminal activity on the property.
The lawsuit which was filed Thursday, claims that from March to October of this year, police were called to the Market Street Manor Motel 124 times.
That's a 121-percent increase from last year at the same time before the current owners bought the property.
“We've seen a significant increase too, not only drug activity, violent crimes as well as prostitution-type conduct, narcotic sales,” district attorney Stephanie Bridgett said. “And you name it, that type of stuff is occurring there.”
The lawsuit also alleged deplorable living conditions, with certain rooms having an infestation of rats, mice and bedbugs and asks that the owners take measures to improve the conditions at the property.
We talked on the phone with owner Desmond Gumbs who lives in the Bay Area.
He says he agrees with the lawsuit, and he's working hard with his manager to evict problem tenants.
But that process takes time.
“I took this place over to improve it, make it a better place,” motel manager Dawn Bianco said. “And I've been working my butt off hard to improve it room by room. And we're complying as best we can ... It's not all the people here, but there's a few here that need to go that are causing a lot of ruckus ... Currently there's four going and there's another four that are going to start.”
Bianco says some of the people they're working to evict have resided at other downtown motels that have been shut down.
She says they've hired security and installed cameras and extra lighting to help deter crime.
But problems with the Market Street Manor have been going on long before the current owner took over.
In the past, we talked with the owners of Kahuna's Mongolian Barbecue who cited numerous problems with guests staying at the motel.
Kahuna's has since relocate to the other side of town.
Gumbs says they're working to fix up the motel and hope to contribute to the revitalization of Redding's downtown.
Nearby business owner Rich Pires says the renovation of the motel would be good thing for the neighborhood.
“I think it would be great to have it cleaned up and less people walking by all the time,” Pires said. “We haven't had too many problems with it, but we do have noise problems and trash problems from it. So I think it will be a good thing.”
Gumbs says he's invested a lot of time and money into the property.
And he wants to see it transformed into something the community can be proud of.
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