On Friday, October 13, 2023, the San Marcos Police Department, along with other City departments, conducted a criminal trespass operation at the Sutton Apartments, 518 Linda Drive, which encompasses 84 total apartment units. The operation resulted in warrant arrests.
The City’s Code Compliance team had been working with the Sutton Apartments over the past year, seeking voluntary compliance after receiving consistent complaints from residents. When issues continued to escalate in severity, Code Enforcement officers and the Fire Marshal’s Office served a Health and Safety warrant at the property on August 17, 2023. The substantiated code compliance violations created uninhabitable conditions for tenants, including sewage backup, lack of hot water, fire hazards, absence of smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, and missing fire extinguishers. Police officers have also investigated trespassing, violent criminal activity, and narcotics distribution in the area. Police have responded to 82 citizen-initiated calls for service at Sutton since June 2023. The most frequent types of offenses reported were assaults, weapons concerns, and criminal trespassing.
Two individuals were arrested for warrants during the operation on Friday, as officers entered 44 vacant apartments to confirm they had been and were still vacant. While no persons were located trespassing, there was evidence in several apartment units showing that they were recently occupied.
The Fire Marshal’s Office gave notice of evacuation to several tenants during the course of the Health and Safety warrant in August 2023. Some of those tenants evacuated, while others chose to stay. At that time, representatives from the Austin Tenant’s Council and Blanco River Regional Recovery Team were available to answer legal questions and help find resources for alternative housing.
Any tenants remaining in their apartments have again been issued an additional notice to vacate their units by Monday, October 16. Resources will be made available to some individuals in need of assistance, including temporary housing and hot meals.
The San Marcos Police Department, Code Enforcement, City Marshal’s Office, Fire Marshal’s Office, and personnel from the Hays County Sheriff’s Office conducted the operation.
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