A Story about Blood on the Streets - Posted by Rolfe the Renovator
Posted by Rolfe the Renovator on July 07, 2001 at 24:04:55:
There’s not a neighborhood in the Mpls/StP area that I would not buy in. I’ve bought in some of the roughest, and as a result, I’ve scene some of the worst. A stabbing victim bleeding to death in an alley, a drive by shooting one block from where I was raking leaves, drug deals by the dozens, and the subsequent stare-downs with some lame punk dealer who’s probably armed to the teeth.
These areas often have a high percentage of motivated sellers, and that is who I try to find. This week I got a tip that a triplex only a few blocks from where I own property was the scene of a drug bust. I called the owner, and expressed my interest in the property.
Many times,“street people” will approach our jobsites looking for work. The employment screen they receive is my business card. If they return a call to that number, I’ll talk to them about working. Most won’t return the call. Some will, and most of those won’t last a day.
Several weeks after hiring one particular gentleman in the manner described above, he asked me if I was still having break-in and theft problems at my renovation projects. Thinking about it, I answered we had not had any break-ins for awhile. He commented he’d be surprised to see so much as an empty soda pop can in the yard. I threw a questioning look his way, and he told me the Bloods street gang were watching out for my properties. They were doing this, I’m told, out of respect. They respect the fact that I hired a local guy off the street.
He was an inacctive member of the Bloods. (Emphasis of inactive - apparrently, you do not want to become a former member.)
He tells me that word got around that I had hired a guy off the street, a guy who happened to be a member of one of the most notorious gangs around. The neighborhood, and the Blood, respected that action. As a result, he says, the Bloods are “watching” my houses, and that nobody will bother those houses from now on.
Two years have ticked bye, and that is the absolute truth - not one problem. The young man who started the whole thing did not last long, vanishing after he called me late one night, desperate for $40.00 To this day, those properties, surrounded by trouble, remain unmolested.
An uneasy, unofficial, undiscussed, and understood partnership. I’ve never quite known what to make of the whole thing.