Forest Audelia shopping center ordered to step up security at risk of closure

Police mobil unit parked at Forest Audelia, during a particularly violent summer

Earlier this month the City of Dallas filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit against problematic property at the southwest corner of Forest Lane and Audelia.

Citing some 66 drug-related arrests, seven aggravated assaults, seven arrests for unlawfully carrying a weapon, two for the reckless discharge of a firearm and two robberies since 2015, city attorneys, on March 3, filed for a temporary and permanent injunction against Bent Creek Shopping Center and owner Rooha Realty, Inc. and its registered agent Mohammed Hanif Khanani.

More background here.

Community prosecutors contended in court this month that the owners have not made adequate efforts to stop drug activity, violence and other crime at the property. The defendant disputes all allegations, according to court documents filed last week, stating that, “even prior to the lawsuit, they took multiple reasonable steps to attempt to abate any criminal activity including but not limited to increased security, lighting, installing 16 video cameras, signage and crime prevention logs.”

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A judge Friday ordered a temporary injunction, which means the property owners must implement and stick to a strict security plan: They must provide two uniformed licensed peace officers eight hours per day for a period of at least three months, when the plan will be reassessed (this will begin within two weeks of the order). The defendants must ensure that the officers patrol in pairs, enforcing the no-loitering policy.

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As part of the agreement, Rooha Realty also must host quarterly business and neighborhood crime watch meetings, providing written notice to the City (and thereby, residents) two weeks prior to said meeting.

The property owners will be required to maintain security cameras and provide footage to police as requested. They also must, among other requirements, apply for permits to build security fencing to prevent loitering in the back alley; install signage that alerts patrons of security cameras and criminal trespass laws; maintain appropriate lighting; report criminal activity and require other tenants to do the same at risk of eviction; report/communicate monthly to the City of Dallas’ community prosecutor office regarding crime.

Rooha Realty would be required to disclose the order of temporary injunction to any subsequent owner, should they decide to sell the property.

The defendants agreed to the aforementioned through Phase one — that’s three months — of the security plan. Upon reassessment, if they are compliant, they will be required to “provide reasonable amount of security … going forward/Phase 2.”

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