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Riata residents fed up with management after months of people camping outside, trespassing

Apartment residents say people experiencing homelessness have been using their amenities and stealing or breaking into vehicles.

AUSTIN, Texas — Residents at the Riata Austin apartment community in northwest Austin said people experiencing homelessness have been trespassing at the property and stealing, and management is not helping.

"It's a very nice community," said resident Laurie Kubiak. "There's a lot of things to do here. I do love it here."

This is why Kubiak gave KVUE a call.

"They come in through this fence," said Kubiak. "Someone pried this fence open."

She said a hole in the fence has opened the Riata to more crime than she's seen in her more than 15 years of living there.

"I've walked a little bit and you can see their tents back there," said Kubiak.

For the past six months, she said people experiencing homelessness have been trespassing and using their amenities. 

"They're staying in the front main entrance pool," Kubiak. "They're showering in our hot tubs and sleeping in our pool cabanas." 

She said while those things are bothersome, she's worried about safety.

"Today a person's truck was broken into, the back windshield was broken into," said Kubiak. "Then upon that post, maybe six more people commented that within the last couple of days, their vehicles had been broken into as well."

On Facebook, other neighbors posted about stolen bikes found near the encampment. There are also videos of people hanging out near their homes.

"The response that we're getting is, 'It's not our problem,'" said Kubiak. "'This is not a Riata staff issue.'" 

In an email to a resident, Riata management wrote in part, "Resident safety and crime-related issues are the responsibility of the resident and law enforcement."

RELATED: Cleaning up homeless camp next to North Austin apartment complex is property owner's responsibility, City says

"We have filed multiple reports with city staff to take control of the situation," said Austin City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly. 

Kelly said she's been working with police to try to issue a criminal trespass warning, but because it's private property, they need management's help, which she said they haven't gotten. 

"I have not gotten any return phone calls," said Kelly. 

In a statement to KVUE, Bell Partners, the company that runs Riata, wrote, "Our community's safety is always our main priority and we take resident concerns extremely seriously. We continue to proactively advocate on behalf of our community to the local authorities and share our residents' desire to see this situation resolved quickly." 

Kubiak said she's worried that things will get worse.

"I pay close to $1,500, $1,520," said Kubiak. "I would like for them to increase the security here. We pay enough in rent for them to do so."

Kubiak hopes management hears their concerns. 

"This is not the way Riata used to be," said Kubiak. "It's out of control at this point."

KVUE on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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