Saginaw officers search vacant homes for guns, drugs - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw officers search vacant homes for guns, drugs

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(01/31/13) - Only on ABC12, law enforcement agencies fanned out across Saginaw, Thursday.

Officers searched vacant homes, looking for hidden guns and drugs.

Saginaw has made some headway in knocking down vacant homes, but some neighborhoods are still full of them, and they can cause trouble.

"You never know what you are going to find when you open, walk through the door," said John Stemple, Saginaw building inspector.

That's why police had weapons drawn as they walked into vacant homes on Thursday. Three teams of officers with the Department of Corrections, Saginaw Police and the city's code enforcement team were in all parts of the city, walking through the abandoned buildings, looking for possible places where criminals might hide some things.

"In the past, we've found firearms, drugs, drug paraphernalia, stolen equipment, that's what we are looking for," said Allen Rabideau, with the Saginaw Police Department.

None of that was found during this sweep, but a container that had boxes of syringes in it was taken from one of the homes.

"We are just looking for a diamond in the rough," Rabideau said.

Tasha Anger lives in one of the neighborhoods where police were looking for contraband. She's hoping the several vacant homes are on her street are knocked down soon.

"It kind of worries me because I'm home by myself at night," she said. "Because I know a lot of people use them for drugs."

While some parts of the city have seen plenty of this in recent years, neighborhoods near Saginaw High School have not. But that could soon change.

"We haven't secured funds for this particular area, however, this is the pending grant application that we have out, is just this area, this area around Saginaw High," Stemple said.

That pending state grant is for $5 million, and the city could find out if it has the money in a couple of weeks.

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