Neighbors: Woman lives in junkyard, steals water, hasn't paid rent in 4 years

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A woman admits to stealing from her neighbors and not paying rent.

But, neighbors are describing her home as a junkyard.

The front yard is full of shopping carts, TVs, and broken furniture. Now, neighbors are saying it is much more than an eyesore.

The home is located in the 1600 block of Walter Street.

Sherry and William Draper said something must be done to hold the homeowners accountable for the mess.

"It's like a junkyard and we don't live in a junk... where there's a junk pile," Sherry Draper said.

"Well, there are people coming and going at different times of the night. Used to they were stealing electricity from the house," William said.

MLGW said the house has been without services since October 2016 and this February they discovered residents were stealing neighbors' electricity.

The home the neighbors are referring to is a place where Kelley Smercak calls home.

Smercak has lived in the home for four years and said she has never met the actual owner of the home. She said because the owner doesn't contact her and there is no water in the home then she has never had to pay rent.

"When we moved in the house we had no water pipes so he told us not to pay until he gets it fixed," Smercak said. "We don't pay rent because we don't have no water. So, we had to like get water from our neighbors."

The Drapers said it's their water she has been taking for the past few months and more needs to be done to shut the home down.

"It's scary because we don't know. We have heard them running our water, taking water at night. We're scared to go out there and confront them because we don't know what they're - what they'll do," Sherry Draper said.

Code Enforcement has spoken with the environmental court to have the property vacated due to a lack of utilities and to order an interior inspection. The property owner is scheduled to be in Environmental Court on July 19.

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