We live in a row home. The one house next to ours is vacant/foreclosed. The bank (?) has hired a cleaning service to come out regularly to maintain the vacant property by mowing the lawn & trimming the weeds/brush.
The first incident occurred around Sept 10, 2012. I was home sleeping, as I work night shift & must sleep during the day. I am used to hearing all sorts of lawn mowers, weed whackers, etc, from all the neighbors maintaining their yards & bushes, etc. And I was aware that a cleaning crew regularly showed up at the vacant property next door to keep it well maintained. So, I did not think too much of what was going on outside since I was trying to sleep. However, after I woke up, I soon discovered that this crew had completely hacked down, to a pathetic stump, my Elderberry tree that was in the back corner of my FENCED-IN yard!! This tree was as tall as the 2-story house & provided shade, privacy, & a welcome change to the eyesore of a brick warehouse-type building & flood lights directly behind us. Now there's just a huge gaping hole where the tree used to stand. It was too late to do a thing about it because the crew had already done their damage & packed up & left.
The crew came back again on November 12th, 2012. This time they were on the root with a chainsaw hacking through some thick creeping vines that were growing up the side of the vacant home's enclosed porch & onto the roof. Well, not only did they throw all the hacked up debris into our yard, they decided it would be a good idea to come over onto OUR ROOF. They proceeded to hack through two 220V power lines (There are on the far side of our chimney, probably a good 2' away from the edge of the vacant home's roof.) I was inside & heard a loud, weird pop & immediately lost power to half of my house. The power was out to the kitchen stove, refrigerator, entire basement, and the 2nd floor bathroom & bedroom. These guys were STILL up there waving around a chainsaw!!
I knew right away what happened & went out there to scream at them. I told them I was calling the police because they just cut through my power lines! Well, it's no surprise that these guys vanished completely within less than a minute. Also interesting to note is that they barely spoke a word of English - but they sure understood "Police" and ran as fast as they could & took off in their van. So I called the police & I called the Electric company (PECO). PECO said there were no reported outages in the area besides ours, so after I explained the situation, they sent out an emergency repair tech. The PECO tech placed a shunt (i think this was what it's called, not sure) in the meter so that we would have full electricity restored for the night, and another repair tech would be out to service the cables in the morning. So the next service guy arrives & climbs up to the roof & can't believe that those incompetent fools hacked through 1 full 220V cable & partially through a 2nd. There are burn marks & charred vines - it's a miracle no one got killed. And of course the wires are on MY side, not PECO's, so now I have to hire I private electrician to replace the entire length of cable running from the meter up to the main power lines.
We've called Foreclosure Cleanup Services several times. They told us they would have a crew come out the next morning to clean up the mess they left. They told us they would have one of their electricians come out the next morning to replace the cables. Well, it's 4 days later & still nothing. I've called several private electricians & we are getting estimates of $500- $800 to replace the entire length of cable. And of course the company that needs to step up & take responsibility for their incompetence is playing games with us & won't return our calls or provide any sort of compensation for the mess they created. This company is supposedly "fully licensed & insured" so I don't understand why they refuse to take responsibility.
I've been to the police station to file a report. I've filed a report with the BBB. Guess next step is talking with a lawyer. I'm living in terror - wondering what destruction they will cause, at my expense, the next time they show up next door. These people have no authorization to be on my property whatsoever. So as far as I am concerned they are trespassing & vandalizing my home & yard.