Tales from a Tenant: “Hello, Police?” Rounds 2 & 3

Last Updated on August 17, 2020

Less than a month ago, I shared my first tale from a tenant involving the police. (A young couple were fighting outside. When it turned violent, we called 911. But the police never showed up.) Following that incident, things had been fairly quiet around our neighbourhood. That is until this week, when the police were here not once, but twice, on two separate calls.

Incident #1

On Saturday morning, at about 5 am, we woke up to get ready for R’s 6 am shift.

On Saturday morning, at about 5:20 am, I called 911.

In those 20 minutes, we first heard a bit of yelling coming from down the street. Shortly after, we saw a woman wandering around from building to building, knocking on random doors. It was about -9 degrees C, with wet snow pouring down, and she was only wearing sweatpants and a long-sleeved t-shirt.

Was she lost? Was she drunk or high? Was she looking for help?

When R said that he thought he had heard them yelling something about a “stabbing”, I called 911. While I was on the phone with the operator, two police cars arrived. (I guess another neighbour had already called.) So, we finished getting ready and left for work.

It was about 6 am when I got home. There were now 3 police cars and an ambulance down the street, but it looked like they were finishing up the call. Two people (including the woman from earlier) went inside their unit, the ambulance left without it’s lights or sirens on, and it looked like the police were leaving, too. I had assumed that was the end.

However, about an hour and half later, I looked outside and was surprised to see that that the police were still there. But now the street was barricaded off, there was a crime scene unit van, and a police officer was taking pictures of something in their front yard. What the hell?

I texted R at work to give him an update. He responded saying that there must have been a violent assault (or worse) after all if the crime scene unit was called. Sure enough, he was right.

On Monday morning, the local police released a statement about the incident: During an altercation between 2 teenaged males, one was STABBED IN THE LEG WITH AN AXE. Oh…

Both males fled the scene but were found, taken into custody, and charged. (The injury was reported as minor.)

But that’s not where the excitement ends!

Incident #2

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting in my living room working on this post when I heard the mailman pass by. When I got up to check the mail, I saw that there were 3 police cruisers parked out front and there was a police officer talking to two women (who I suspect were social workers – possibly Children’s Aid?) in front of the building beside us.

For about 2 hours, various police officers and social workers (?) came and went. I have no idea what was happening inside, but outside I saw an officer taking pictures of the front window and second floor of the unit, another officer loaded random things (evidence?) into the back of his cop car, and a third officer spoke with a maintenance person who had been working in the unit next door.

I couldn’t figure out what was going on. There was no sense of urgency and no one was arrested or taken away in an ambulance (this time). But who were these non-police officer people involved? And who even lives in that unit?

When I picked up R from work, I told him what I had seen and that I wondered if there was a break-in. However, when I told him that they took a portable air conditioner, what looked like a string of empty light sockets, and a house plant from the unit he laughed at how naive I am, and told me that it probably wasn’t a “house” plant – Oh! Oh…

There hasn’t been anything in the news or posted on crimereports.com about a grow-op or drug bust in our neighbours (yet…), so who knows? Maybe it was a break-in, after all?

So Now What?

I’ll admit it. It’s scary and unsettling to have the police in our neighbourhood as often as we do – but it’s a hell of a lot better than NOT having them here (as per my last post on this topic).

Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to be stuck here for another few months, at least. With my ongoing unemployment, we can’t afford to move right now. Once I do find a job, we’ll look into moving into a safer neighbourhood and/or save up to buy a place of our own.

So all I can do for now is use this as motivation to find that new job, make that money, and squirrel it all away for a down-payment. And maybe install a security system…

Amanda Kay

Amanda Kay, an Employment Specialist and founder of My Life, I Guess, strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making a living. She focuses on what it’s like being in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and surviving unemployment while also offering advice and support for others in similar situations - including a FREE library of career & job search resources.

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15 thoughts on “Tales from a Tenant: “Hello, Police?” Rounds 2 & 3”

    • Haha, I didn’t think that they just put *that* sort of plant in the backseat of the police cruiser! Wouldn’t it need to be put in an evidence bag? Or maybe I watch too much tv…

  1. We had a grow op and cocaine dealer across the street from us. The child was taken away by an uncle rather than social services, but it was heart wrenching. But that was it for trouble around us.

    I don’t mean this in a bad way, but do you live in a questionable part of town? You lived in your city long enough to know the pockets, right? We are semi-questionable because we didn’t know the areas but you’ve lived in said city for awhile, so I am curious if you knew it had many incidents.

    • From what I’ve heard and learned about this part of the city, overall it’s not a bad area, but the townhouses that we are in seem to be the issue. I don’t know why that is, because we had to jump through hoops to get our rental application approved, but that’s the general impression I’m getting.

  2. I used to in a one bedroom apartment with just my small dog. It started one night when I heard yelling in the parking lot, looked out my window and say people fighting beside my car. I was worried about my car so I called the cops. Turns out the people ran and it turned into a chase. This was the first incident. My apartment was beside the stairwell, so every night in the early hours I would hear people coming and going to my neighbours. A few nights they even mistaken my apartment and tried to get in, sending my dog into a fit. I called the cops a few time and put in a complaint with the building. They were known drug dealers and had then on camera with stolen tvs. They were also not paying their rent. You would think that would have been enough to evict them, but apparently not. The buildings solution was to have me move further down the hall, which I was not willing to do. I only lived there for a year, but was very happy to leave. On the bright side, at least all of the activity keeps things entertaining!

    • Haha, yeah… all we can really do right now is laugh about it. And stay out of it as much as possible. I’m SO glad that I don’t live alone here – that would be to scary for me!

  3. Oh my gosh, and I thought the last place I lived was crazy. Yours is slightly more exciting… but definitely be careful! I don’t know for sure, but at the crazy apartment complex I used to live in, people didn’t seem intent on bothering ME or my roommate. They just wanted to assault/stab/throw plates at one another, not innocent bystanders. Then again, I never gave them a reason to mess with me (rarely talked to them or got involved in their incidents, stuck to pleasant nodding if I passed them). Better to be invisible than to be a target. Good luck! :-/

    • Absolutely! Since that first incident with the police not showing up, we’ve decided to “mind our business” as much as possible. I only called 911 this last time because there was obviously something wrong for that woman to be outside in the freezing cold wearing nothing more than pajamas. Hopefully that’s the last time!

  4. Oh, man, this sounds like my street! I was “privileged” to watch a neighbor get arrested a few weeks ago — totally disturbing since I was waiting for my kid’s bus to get there while the whole situation was unfolding right across the street. Also, we had a household with a bunch of teen drug dealers — they’ve since moved, but the house remains abandoned. It used to be a fairly quiet neighborhood. Commiserating with you, and hoping things improve. We’re hoping to move in the next year or two — we’re a little concerned that our house won’t sell. The only thing I can bring up is that it is giving you some interesting stories to write about (someday, I hope to write more about mine), and, you’re right, the police presence on the street isn’t a horrible thing. Visiting from SITS Sharefest.

    • Yah, we’ve seen a neighbor get arrested before too… But thankfully we don’t have kids that see all this going on, too! And because we rent, it will be a lot easier for us to leave when that time comes. I hope you have success selling your house and finding somewhere better 🙂

  5. “House plant”. #sorrynotsorry for laughing.

    Where we live now isn’t too eventful now that the neighbor across the street has a restraining order against him and can’t wreak havoc on his house but our old neighborhood had some good ones. There was the lady who shot and killed her ex-husband when he broke into her house, the squatters living in an abandoned house who were also car theft ring masterminds, the tragic suicide of my next door neighbor, and the chronically missing child (who was never actually missing; the parents were just too lazy to look for him). It seems like no matter where you go, there’s always something!

  6. New to your blog 🙂

    That does sound scary! I was freaked out once when I came home and counted 13… THIRTEEN.. police/crime scene vehicles parked in my former apartment complex. Turns out a 60+ year old woman drowned in the hot tub and it had to be treated as a crime scene until proven otherwise.

  7. It is likely that most of the people near you are renters, not the original owners and they are trying to turn the tide. Most owners will rent to whomever because they need the money. Section 8 especially pay on time so it’s attractive to the landlords. Unfortunately, as you are witnessing.. 🙁 , a lot of them are bad. The management is probably trying to fix it by scrutinizing prospective renters. Good luck with everything. I hope the situation improves so you can get out of there.


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