By Danny Schrafel
The home at 90 Tanyard Lane in Huntington, which has twice been the site of armed break-ins in recent weeks, is being eyed by town officials as they weigh their options on efforts aimed at improving conditions at the address, according to town officials.
The added scrutiny follows two home invasion-style burglaries police have described as “targeted.”
In a May 12 incident, police said two masked, white males armed with a shotgun kicked in a door at 4:30 p.m. and stole money and other possessions. The home was occupied at the time. The suspects pulled up to the scene in a late-model Honda with Virginia plates, police said.
On May 7, police said, two black males broke into the same occupied house at 3:30 p.m. Records show that two men burglarized the home and demanded money and other items after pulling what appeared to be a gun. They reportedly made off with drug paraphernalia.
“When the proceeds of a burglary are bongs and things of that nature, it’s a problem,” Second Squad Det./Lt. William Burke said Wednesday.
The tax bill for the property is listed in town records as going to Neptune Development Corp., which is based a few blocks up the road on Griffith Lane. It has been described by neighbors as a headache for several years. State records list the CEO of the LLC, formed Aug. 22, 2003, as Glenn Jacobs.
The five-bedroom, four-bathroom house, which is listed in town tax records as a single-family home, is currently on the market. It was last sold in October 2006 for $555,000, according to the real estate website Zillow.
A call to the Griffith Lane addresses' listed phone number went unanswered Wednesday afternoon.
Charlie Esposito, who owns a home on nearby Dumbarton Lane, said that when she first bought a house near 90 Tanyard, there were "some unsavory characters that lived there" and a vermin problem had spilled over to her property.
She said she and others have made "numerous complaints" to Huntington Town Hall about suspected overcrowding. She said she suspects the home is rented to multiple tenants.
“The town should really do something about it,” she said. “There have been multiple complaints from people in the neighborhood.”
Town spokesman A.J. Carter said last week that the property has a fairly lengthy history of code-enforcement issues, many revolving around suspected illegal apartments. Most recently, Carter said, the town was there May 8 – a day after the initial break-in – after receiving a complaint that the house “may be overcrowded.” Following that visit, Carter said, code enforcement “is still considering different options” for their next step.
Other residents of the typically quiet neighborhood with neatly kept homes and manicured lawns said the home is a hotbed of activity, with multiple young people coming and going, parties and apparent tenants filtering in and out with some regularity.
In December 2014, the town investigated an anonymous complaint about illegal apartments, but the property’s owner refused to allow town inspectors into the home, Carter said. Previously, the owner had been fined over a swimming-pool violation.
Esposito expressed frustration with the town’s inspection process, suggesting that the town’s requirement of giving notice before an ordinance inspector comes in gives the landlord time to tidy up ahead of an inspection.
Carter said that the town must either have permission from the property owner for code enforcement officers to enter or can gain entry without permission if a search warrant is issued by a judge after probable cause of a violation is proven.