New owners of Crum Road home in Austintown take legal action
It's a new chapter regarding an Austintown property on Crum Road, which has been deemed a nuisance and public safety concern by the township for years, after a family there was reportedly living in a garage.
The next-door neighbors have since bought the demolished property in a sheriff sale this past summer, and are taking legal action in hopes the Grate family does not return back.
It was formerly the residence of Pamela Grate and her family before the property went into foreclosure, and court documents show the Grates have since been notified to leave the premises on September 12th.
Austintown Township Zoning Inspector Darren Crivelli said on September 25, the family was still there in a tent with a generator, but since then, Austintown Police said the Grates seemed to have left the property after police went to check it out, and told the new owners they can contact police if there continues to be an issue.
"As far as we're concerned, they have forgone their rights to that property," Lt. Tom Collins of the Austintown Police Department said, "They have picked up all of the possessions, they have vacated."
Last week, the neighbors reported to police that they saw the Grates moving the rest of their belongings, including the tent into the woods behind the property.
The new owners said they decided to mow the lawn after assuming the Grates had left the neighborhood, but claim that while mowing, Grate's son, Tim Grates, came out of come out of the woods yelling at the new owners to stop and that it's "his property."
It was also alleged that at one point, Pamela Grate appeared out of the woods yelling, "We are always watching," and that the Grates were "smashing windows and throwing trash around."
"The frustrating part is the fact that we've offered this family [Grates] assistance on numerous occasions," Collins said, "They have turned it down each time. This is the lifestyle they have chosen to live."
Neighbors told police they believe the Grates are "living in the woods." Collins said his understanding is the Grates are able to be in the woods as long as it's on property they are permitted to be on.
A formal eviction process is moving forward in court, and the first hearing is October 13.
Moving forward, Collins said, "It is on the property owner to contact us to say, listen, I don't want them on my property, I want them warranted and or charged a criminal trespassing."