Police target Pepper Tree crime

Police say crime is the biggest tenant at the Peppertree Apartments in south Memphis.  That's not hard for Nelsa Creasy to believe.

"Late afternoon or at night, I wouldn't be out in my front yard," says Creasy.

Creasy has watched from her home across the street Peppertree's transformation from nice neighborhood to nuisance.

"The guy next door said they need to tear that place down," says Creasy.

Police cite 167 incidents since July 1st as proof of the problems at Peppertree.  Those include two murders, seven robberies, two rapes and 60 aggravated assaults.  Owners of the property now have roughly 60 days to improve security and help curb crime.

"Glad to know that someone cares and is looking after us, trying to help us," says resident Linda Wooten.

If things at Peppertree don't improve, more serious steps will be taken.

"Down the road, we could ask the court to close the premises on the basis it's a continued nuisance and the only way to abate it is to close it," says District Attorney Bill Gibbons.

That's something on-site managers did not want to discuss with us.  Nobody with Tesco Properties at its main office in Germantown wanted to talk either.  Meantime, concerned neighbors like Nelsa Creasy just hope talk of a clean-up turns to action very soon.

A new state law gives the District Attorney the right to file a nuisance action against the owners or managers of an entire apartment complex.