Tuesday, June 03, 2008
By Andy Cerota
BAYTOWN, TX (KTRK) -- Neighbors in a Baytown subdivision say they're living in fear.
Nearly every weekend in the middle of the night and early morning hours, they are awakened by the sounds of roaring engines.
By day, life in Chaparral Village seems perfect enough. Children ride their bikes and neighbors take time out to socialize.
But at night, it's a whole other story.
"The main complaint we're having is this high speed Vin Diesel, Fast and Furious stuff that's happening all the time," said Bert Marshall who is concerned about the speeders.
Street racers have turned Chaparral Drive into their own personal speedway. That includes blasting music, taunting homeowners at all hours of the night. Residents fear it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.
"We stand out in our yard and watch them fly through the stop sign doing at least 60 to 70 mph, not even slow down at all," said Sally Odom who is concerned about speeders.
What's more, they've managed to stay one step ahead of police.
"They congregate and each person gets their mission, you go check this area, you go check that area," said Capt. D.W. Alford of the Baytown Police Department. "From what we've received from witnesses, [the speeders] range anywhere from teenagers to 30, possibly 40-year-old people."
The head of community services, Baytown's Captain Alford is frustrated too. From marked patrols roving through the neighborhood to undercover surveillance, Alford says police have tried everything.
"We have just not been successful. We used MDT messaging, we stay off the radio, we use text messaging on phones," Captain Alford said.
It's so bad, residents say the speeders threatened violence against one of the homeowners.
"One of the cars stopped, got out and threw a brick at the window hitting the side of her house," said Marshall.
Residents who've been working with police are talking about setting up a video surveillance system of their own.
"So we can record their license plates and have something to turn over to the police," said Marshall. "We want it back. It's like a little war zone going on here on the weekends, we're tired of it."
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