About one year ago, I moved into an older apartment building in downtown Dickinson, North Dakota. For 3-1/2 years prior to this, while I was working in Dickinson, I paid rent to a homeowner on the north side of Dickinson to stay in his 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. For the past eight years, I have owned a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Idaho, where I have spent very little time due to working in North Dakota, Utah, and Texas.
The 3br/2ba home on the north side of Dickinson where I lived for 3-1/2 years, was very similar to living in my 3br/2ba home in Idaho. All of the neighbors in the rural area on the north side of Dickinson believed, and behaved the same way.
All of the neighbors in the rural area on the north side of Dickinson had extra trucks, trailers, equipment, motorcycles, four wheelers, boats, and garages where they worked on all of the things that they owned. They took care of their property, were quiet, didn’t play loud music, didn’t drive recklessly or carelessly, and stayed on their own property.
All of the neighbors in the rural area quickly spotted any vehicle that was unfamiliar to them, and watched the vehicle to see where it was going and what they were going to do. Most of the neighbors had a couple of outdoor dogs, that would start barking whenever someone unfamiliar was anywhere near their yard or the neighbor’s yard, which caused people to look outside or come outside to see what the dogs were barking at.
In the 3-1/2 years of living in the rural area on the north side of Dickinson, no one had any theft or trespassers. We had a medium sized bird dog that was very alert, and every neighbor surrounding us had medium sized to large outdoor hunting dogs that guarded the houses. One of the neighbors had huskies and malamutes that never came inside.
Due to the home owner where I was staying being older and having health problems, which caused among other things, him to come into the living room and turn on the television and make a lot of noise during the late night and early a.m. hours, which woke me up and prevented me from falling back to sleep, I wanted to go and live some place else. The oil boom was over in North Dakota by the end of 2015, and rents all throughout Dickinson had decreased through 2016 and 2017.
I did not want to spend very much money for rent in Dickinson. I was just here to work, to try to make as much money as possible, to try to save as much money as possible, to try to spend as little as possible, so that one day I could return to my home in Idaho, and resume a normal life.
Just as an aside, to answer the question, What do I mean by resuming a normal life? For instance, in the area of Idaho where I had lived, there was an equal number of men and women. Perhaps even a slightly higher number of women. It was common for women in Idaho to want to make a good impression, to try to have a nice appearance, to be polite, and to try to be friendly and helpful. Why? Because they wanted to make friends, make acquaintances, have the chance for more opportunities, to advance professionally, to be asked out on dates, or to be invited to go places.
But let me get back to Dickinson. In the Spring of 2017, I sought to find an inexpensive apartment in Dickinson. The older apartment buildings downtown, had significantly lower rent than the newly constructed apartment buildings on the outer perimeter of Dickinson. At one of the older apartment buildings downtown, which was probably at 50% occupancy, the apartment manager gave me a very good deal on a two bedroom apartment, because I had very good credit, two jobs, had already been working in Dickinson for four years, and I did not have any criminal record.
I liked the 2 bedroom apartment very much, it had a nice view, and it did not cost very much. I was glad to have privacy, and quiet at night when I was sleeping, which I had not had while I was living with a homeowner on the north side of Dickinson. I also liked the convenience of living downtown, it was a shorter drive to places like the grocery store.
Within a couple of months of moving into an apartment in downtown Dickinson, several bad things began happening at about the same time. In order to not be a jerk, or start any problems with my apartment neighbors, I did not want to take any person’s parking space. So I parked my vehicles on the street. I had to look all over town, but I found a business owner who was willing to rent to me a spot to park one of my trucks, about four blocks away from where I lived downtown.
When I had traveled all over the United States for work, to Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Texas, and North Dakota, I kept a large locked trunk, chained and locked to the back seat frame, inside of my truck. In this trunk, I kept my birth certificate, social security card, $500 emergency money, and a large 11″x17″ portfolio binder showing years and years of my engineering work. After 15 years of travelling like this, working in places like Pueblo, Phoenix, Laredo, and Fort Worth, I thought that this locked and chained down trunk inside of my locked truck was safe enough in Dickinson.
I was wrong. My entire truck was stolen in downtown Dickinson. I handed out flyers all over southwest North Dakota, and after a week, different people telephoned me to tell me who had my stolen truck. I was able to contact associates and relatives of the person who stole my truck, who was already wanted by the Police in Dickinson for his seventh and eighth felonies. Due to pressure from friends, relatives, and the Police, my truck was left abandoned beside Hwy 85.
Missing from my stolen truck was about $1,500 to $2,000 in tools and equipment. The electric trailer brake controller, radar detector, two spare truck tires, spare trailer tire, truck bed tool box, floor jack, air tank, tool sets, carrier rack, and the four good tires that were on it, had all been removed and sold. The $500 cash went in his pocket, and my birth certificate, social security card, portfolio of work, business cards, owners manual with service history and receipts, all went in the garbage somewhere, probably.
At about the same time that my truck was stolen in downtown Dickinson, I was having problems at my apartment building in downtown Dickinson. The source of many of these problems, were two apartments in my building where drugs were being used and sold.
Shortly after moving into this building, several residents and myself, witnessed the Police trying to escort a resident from one of the drug apartments to their Police car. This young lady repeatedly tried to injure herself by intentionally banging her head against the brick walls, doors, Police car, and inside the Police car. She was obviously out of her mind on drugs.
At all hours of the day and night, people would come and go from these two drug apartments in the downtown apartment building where I lived. Or, sometimes people would stay and get high, then sit or wander in the apartment building common areas in a zombie like stupor.
After I had lived in this downtown apartment building for about six weeks, I telephoned the apartment building management, and I told them that they had a drug problem in this building. People coming and going from two apartments throughout the day and night, people sitting in a stupor on balconies, walking the hallway stoned in the early a.m. hours. The building management asked me to specify which two apartments. When I was reluctant to do so, the building management asked if it was apartment xx and xx, and I said yes, exactly. Since other residents of the building had already complained and had identified the two apartments, I gave some additional information.
It turned out, that the main drug dealing apartment was not even supposed to be occupied by the people who were living there. A mother of an adult son, she had rented the apartment, then she went off to live someplace else, and she left her adult son in the apartment. This adult son who did not have a job, he invited other people who did not have jobs, to come and stay with him at the apartment where he wasn’t even on the lease. This group of unemployed people, none of them were on the apartment lease, bought and sold drugs all day, and used drugs all day.
The apartment building managers and the Police, made an attempt to clear the apartment building of all drug activity, which helped some, but there was a recurrence of problems. This sector of downtown Dickinson, had more than several drug houses and drug apartments. People would continue to come to this apartment building, or wander around this immediate area, seeking drugs. People who were not in their right minds, would either come straight to this building or eventually wander over to this building, and they would try to hang out here, hoping or thinking that a drug dealer or someone with drugs would turn up any minute, because they had got drugs here in the past.
This led to things like me finding someone who was not a resident of the building, almost completely passed out and unable to move, laying in the stairwell of this building at 3:00 a.m. Finding someone who was not a resident of the building, sitting in their car hiding behind the garages, acting out of their mind on drugs. Finding someone who was not a resident of the building, shuffling around and acting crazy in the parking lot around the vehicles at 2:00 a.m. And the combination of people who do not live here loitering or wandering through the property 24 hours per day, while at the same time residents find that someone has removed property from their car or tampered with their car.
In this past month, I found a couple of 20-23 year olds that didn’t belong in my neighbor’s backyard where he keeps his equipment, motorcycles, and four wheelers; a non-resident with a station wagon filled with garbage bags trying to fill up our one apartment building garbage container; a couple of drug impaired non-residents searching through our apartment building garbage container with flashlights for about 20 minutes, who were probably looking for bank statements and credit card bills. And finally, the drug dealer, drug user adult son who does not have a job, is back at his mother’s apartment dealing drugs.
The apartment building management, and the Police, had tried to rid this apartment building of the drug dealing about eight months ago, by confronting the drug dealers, seeing if any drugs could be detected or found, and threatening the lease holders of the two suspected apartments with eviction. Months and months later, people were still coming onto this apartment building property 24 hours per day hoping to find drugs, because they had gotten drugs here in the past.
Within one day of the drug dealer with no job being back on the apartment building property, I watched black guys from out of state with inner city ghetto vehicles driving right up to this apartment like it’s a drive through or convenience store for drugs.
(If you want to see what an out of state, inner city ghetto vehicle used by drug dealers looks like, go peak through the fence of the impound lot at East End Towing in Dickinson to see the Range Rover which has been lowered with custom wheels, California license plates, with the windows broken out of it, and beat all to hell from misuse and abuse.)
I thought about calling the apartment building management, or going and talking to them in person, and saying to them that they have got to get rid of the people in this apartment, evict the lease holder once and for all. I think that it would have probably turned into an argument, with me threatening to leave, or the apartment management suggesting that I leave, because they are tired of hearing about it.
I think that there is so much crime in downtown Dickinson now, there are so many low income and inner city ghetto people that have moved to Dickinson recently, that the property managers and the Police are overwhelmed, they don’t know what to do, or how to handle it.
I asked the homeowner where I used to live in Dickinson, if I could come back and live with him in an emergency, because I can foresee getting into an argument with the property management, where they will ask me to leave. He is partly sympathetic, because he knows that my truck and all of the property in my truck would never had gotten stolen if he would have allowed me to keep my truck parked at his house.
When I think about renting an apartment elsewhere in Dickinson, what I am certain of, is that I sure as hell am not going to pay more money to live in a newer apartment building in Dickinson, and still be around apartments where people sell and use drugs. The new apartment buildings are at 50% occupancy, they will rent to anyone, and there are so many lower income and inner city ghetto people that have recently moved to Dickinson, that I don’t see how I can ever escape the crime and drug dealing in Dickinson by renting any apartment in Dickinson.
Note: I want to explain why I associate all of this crime in Dickinson with low income people and inner city ghetto people who have recently moved to Dickinson.
People who spent a lot of time and money to obtain a college degree, or worked their way up to management level, or professional level, or have enough demonstratable skill and experience to have a good paying job, these people all know better than to jeopardize all of their hard work by attempting to steal things out of people’s vehicles, garages, and homes. To get caught with a stolen vehicle, trailer, or equipment. Also, they are usually capable of buying the things that they want, rather than taking the foolish and unnecessary risk of stealing things.
It is mostly low income and inner city ghetto people that look at the risk of being caught, convicted, and sentenced for trying to steal a phone or laptop out of a vehicle, or valuables out of someone’s home, as being worth the risk. The risk of them spending 30 days in jail, or one year in prison, is worth the $200 to $400 they might receive from stealing something from someone’s vehicle or burglarizing a home.