♦ No doubt Salisbury’s gangs get plenty of coverage especially when someone is murdered, there’s a drive-by shooting, a running firefight breaks out spanning several blocks, or youngsters are tragically killed or maimed in a crossfire. Yet the real backbone of chronic crime in our city are the daily criminal acts done by individuals dwelling on the streets of Salisbury. These are the habitual criminals who squat in Salisbury’s nearly 2,000 vacant and abandoned houses, move between abandoned buildings, call home a rusted out auto body, live unnoticed under someone’s porch or go mole man in a basement or crawlspace, or live out in the woods in a “tarp city”.
Living in the natural world not far from the Town Creek in Salisbury, N.C.:
Some housing choices come about because the individual can’t gain entry into North Carolina’s largest homeless shelter either because they lack sobriety, are known troublemakers, or they are registered sex offenders who can’t be around children. Some folks make the choice to live on the streets because they don’t like the company of others or be under the rules of a shelter.
A squatter enjoying a beverage at his digs at the former Pancho Villas restaurant building on East Innes Street.
Here’s a short list of the many crimes done by some individuals “living on streets of Salisbury”.
• Armed robbery
• Selling drugs
• Breaking and entering into houses, cars, and buildings
• Car stealing
• Sex crimes and rape
• Skipping out on a food, beverage, or cab bill.
• Home invasions
• Purse snatching
• Kiting checks