SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — An elderly man was robbed and beaten in his San Bernardino home Wednesday, according to authorities.
Although police say they have two teenagers they believe responsible for the crime behind bars, neighbors of the victim — 74-year-old Verlee Butler — are still concerned.
They are concerned not only for the welfare of their friend, but because of a drastic spike in crimes against the elderly in their area.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez reported from the Sierra Village Apartments in San Bernardino.
He says of the 70 apartments here, half are vacant.
Resident Charlyne Thomas says what the teens did to Butler “was awful. He’s a senior, and he lives alone. I thought it was horrifying for them to do him like that.”
Butler is now scared to open his door. And that doesn’t surprise anyone who lives here. Said Ron Lamar, “It’s not safe, it’s not safe at all. And no one is doing anything about it.”
Fernandez reports that Sierra Village is in foreclosure and in the process of being taken over by US Bank.
Some residents — and the court-appointed manager — say things are only getting worse.
The front gate is broken, the security light isn’t working. And residents say transients walk through the property freely.
One resident told Fernandez her air and heating unit was stolen and never replaced. Carolyn Snyder said, “We went through the summer burning up. And now we’re going through the winter and freezign to death. Nothing is ever ‘right’ here. It’s unsafe and unsanitary. Folks are getting robbed left and right.”