BOISE -- Boise Police are re-emphasizing their warnings to stay away from the crumbling homes on Alto Via Court after nearly two dozen people were caught trespassing in the area in the last two days.
The road is closed with barricades, and "No Trespassing" signs have been posted on the houses, which are slowly collapsing as the ground beneath them shifts. The homeowners, who have all evacuated, are currently locked in an extended legal battle with developers, the City of Boise and the Ada County Highway District.
Despite the risk of being severely injured or crushed to death when the abandoned houses topple, thieves, trespassers and vandals continue to flock to Alto Via Court.
"Boise Police are taking a zero tolerance stance toward anyone trespassing, vandalizing and burglarizing the properties on Alto Via Ct," the department wrote in a release.
Boise Police say they issued numerous citations this week, starting Tuesday night when someone reported that several people were standing on the balcony of one of the homes marked with a "No Trespassing" sign. Officers arrived to find two suspects, ages 20 and 21, at the home. Both were cited for trespassing, a misdemeanor that can result in a six-month jail sentence.
Four other people, all 18, ran away when police arrived, but were found and cited the next day.
On Wednesday, at about 9:30 a.m., officers found a 25-year-old and a 27-year-old trespassing on Alto Via Court in a vehicle. The pair was arrested after officers found drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine in their car.
Later that night, a total of 12 people, ranging in age from 15 to 50, were cited for trespassing in the neighborhood.
While officers were in the area Wednesday night, they could hear loud noises from the homes continuing to shift and break apart. Large crevasses also have opened up in the road.
Officers are continuing to patrol the area, and surveillance cameras are currently in place.