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Issue of violence at vacant home in Southeast Bakersfield

Posted at 6:43 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 21:43:44-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — A home on Lomita Drive in Southeast Bakersfield was the scene of not one killing -- but three.

It was boarded up and tagged by Kern County Code Compliance in 2018, but that hasn't stopped the violent activity.

On Monday, officials said 26-year-old David Valles, a homeless man, stabbed and killed a man at the home.

That following a double-murder in 2018, where officials said a man and woman who lived there were shot in the head and burned.

The county is filled with tagged and vacant homes. But officials said it is difficult to monitor them.

"We simply don't have the manpower to be able to track every single home we have been involved with over the years," Code Compliance Division Supervisor Al Rojas said.

That is why the county leans on the community to report issues.

"If anyone appears to go to the property or is using the property, they need to report it to the Sheriff's Office," Rojas said.

Code compliance said because they don't have arrest powers, the Kern County Sheriff's Office responds to reports of squatters.

Officials said once KCSO responds, then they report it to code compliance.

However, officials said the home on Lomita Drive hasn't had a complaint since October 2018.

Just recently, the property owner paid fees and is actively trying to rehabilitate the property.

But neighbors said homeless people still use the residence and issues at the home are on-going.

KCSO said they regularly check abandoned residences, but it is not their primary responsibility.

We asked KCSO for a list of how many times deputies have responded to the home, but we are still waiting on that information.

If you have a similar problem in your neighborhood, you can file a complaint with code compliance at 862-8603. If it's an immediate situation, call KCSO at 861-3110.