FLINT (WJRT) -
(08/06/14) - There was a new twist Wednesday in the water shutoff saga between the city of Flint and a north side apartment complex.
Flint Police have now launched a criminal investigation as Glen Acre tenants face eviction.
The city of Flint says workers turned off the water to some buildings at Glen Acre apartments because the complex has unpaid bills. That happened back in November. In June, the city says it learned the water had been illegally turned back on.
Tuesday, tenants in the 1718 building were told they'd have to move out because there wasn't water. Wednesday, we learned Flint Police are now involved.
"It was actually turned on illegally yesterday. I sent officers out, it's currently under investigation. The city went out and shut it off in a more permanent manner," said Cpt. Collin Birnie, of the Flint Police Department. "It appears it's been turned on and off several times."
Someone has a special tool, or city key, that they shouldn't have.
"It's large. You stand up to use it. And it goes down into the ground and activates the valve," Birnie said.
Birnie says it was turned back on, illegally, on Tuesday.
"There's several levels of theft, and we'll have to see where exactly it fits in, but it's basically stealing the city's water," he said.
This all comes as the people who call Glen Acre home are trying to figure out what to do next. The city says you "must have water service to maintain livability".
The eviction notices said people had 24 hours to leave. One day later, we checked back and only found a few people who planned to move.
Samuel Morgan Jr. was packing up and heading for a friend's house.
"I'm sort of, was sort of prepared for it, but really not right now. But I knew it was coming," he said.
Andre Williams is still at the place he's called home for 10 years.
"I'm still here and I'm not going no where," he said.
Mike Shepherd would like to leave, but says he has to remain in place for now.
"If I don't buy water, hey, I can't be up in my house, apartment, and I can't flush the toilet," he said.
Morgan isn't concerned with who's at fault for turning the water on. He just wants to have life's every day necessities - like running water.
"Still need water for the flushing the toilet, take the showers and wash the dishes, clean the house," he said.
While this is still an open investigation, Birnie says they do have witnesses who saw someone turning that water back on, Tuesday.
There is help for people being evicted from Glen Acre Estates.
The United Way has put together an army of agencies to help families. They are working with their United Way partners, including Resource Genesee and the Shelter of Flint. The organizations are going to try to get people housed.
The first step for Glen Acre Estate families is calling Resource Genesee One Stop at 810-600-4525. You will need ID for you and everyone in household 18 and older, social security cards or copies, a copy of your current lease and the eviction notice. They will use that information to get people relocated.