Note: Maria Olvera’s interview was translated from Spanish to English.
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — The Brownsville Police Department started a campaign to remove abandoned vehicles from city streets, and some residents say that their neighborhoods are overrun with parked cars.
“If it’s an abandoned vehicle on a public street we go and tag the vehicle and in 72 hours if the vehicle is not picked up, they get a citation and possibly even get the vehicle towed,” said Investigator Martin Sandoval, Brownsville PD’s public information officer for the Brownsville Police Department.
However, one resident said that sometimes abandoned cars have brought unexpected problems.
“Like I was telling you, it has already happened once where the government came for drugs and I was scared,” said Maria Olvera, a resident who has lived in Southmost Brownsville for over 50 years.
Olvera described the night when the Drug Enforcement Administration came for a vehicle that she said was parked by her neighbors’ front door.
Now, Olvera is concerned because a new vehicle has been parked in front of her home for a month.
“This truck here always makes me very—suspicious!” said Olvera. “But I don’t like this here because like I told you I do not feel safe, I feel scared.”
Cars are allowed to park anywhere on the city streets because it is considered public property, according to Sandoval.
“The city of Brownsville just leaves them there and we can’t do anything,” said Olvera.
Investigator Sandoval said that if a car is parked for a long period of time in front of your property, it might violate a city ordinance.
“There is an ordinance there that states that a vehicle can park in front of your residence, but it can’t park there for an extended period of time,” said Sandoval.
Sandoval is asking people for their help to report where the issues are so they can properly address the issues.
“I’ll be more than glad to see what is it that we can do for them but if they don’t let us know, how do we know that they have problems?” said Sandoval.
After interviewing with KVEO, Sandoval went to Olvera’s property and took note of the vehicles in question. Additionally, Olvera told Sandoval that if an ambulance came, they would not be able to park in front of her home, so the city of Brownsville will install a “no parking” sign in front of her house.
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