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Riviera turning to cameras in attempt to thwart vandalism

  • Written by Kelly White

  The Riviera Townhomes, a quiet neighborhood near 111th Street and 84th Avenue in Palos Hills, has for nearly a year been the site of frequent theft and vandalism, according to the manager of the property.

  Property theft has been occurring since last summer, with damage and defacement of property occurring on a handful of occasions since last fall, according to Riviera property manager Karen Ferguson, who said she is looking to put a an immediate stop to the vandalism. Residents’ complaints range from scratches on cars to broken statues and flower vases and other personal property.

  Ferguson believes youths who live in the neighborhood are responsible for the vandalism, and that closer monitoring and reporting by the homeowners association and residents may be a key aspect in catching the perpetrators. Video surveillance may be the solution in stopping the vandals, according to Riviera recreation Chairwoman Donna O’Connell.
  “We have decided to make a priority to put in place video surveillance cameras that will hopefully be worth its weight in gold to help prevent vandalism and theft and gets the community together for a common goal, to ensure the safety and our hard earned money towards associations fees to keep our community safe and free of vandalism.”
  O’Connell has solicited bids for video surveillance cameras that will be placed throughout the townhome complex to work as an all-encompassing security system for residents. The surveillance cameras will not raise homeowners’ association fees, which are $162 a month. She believes the cameras will provide a final solution to the seemingly never-ending problem.
  “We will be working on proposals to place the proper surveillance system throughout the Riviera and ensure the vandals are caught and prosecuted,” she said. “This will give us the peace of mind that we are entitled to.
  “In addition, we will save literally thousands of dollars that would be spent to repair or replace stolen or vandalized items.”
  The committee plans to prosecute the vandals once they are caught, if they are of age to be prosecuted.
  Roger Schweikert, 29, of the Cour Michele subdivision in Riviera, aid he can not even place items outside for fear they will be damaged.
  “Not only that, but I come home after work sometimes to find garbage and debris scattered throughout my carport that isn’t even mine, that I am now forced to clean up, from used coffee cups and food wrappers to children’s toys,” Schweikert said. “This needs to be stopped.”
  Schweikert has contacted the homeowners association on issues regarding vandalism to his property and was told his was not the first call regarding a vandalism issue in the Riviera.
  Riviera includes an in-ground pool, clubhouse, tennis courts and a large open park area. The neighborhood is made up of primarily young adults with families.