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Homeowner Suspect Crime Activity Happening on Property

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WESLACO - A Hidalgo County woman said she’s fed up with illegal dumping on and near her property.

Resident Martha Cipriano-Brook said she fears criminals may be using her property also.  She said her family has been suspicious ever since the house mysteriously burned down years ago.

Her mother had just moved out and no one was living there at the time.

“They wanted to burn down the house. Make sure nobody moved in after she left. They wanted free-run of the property. Whoever is out there,” she said. “All this was always neatly trimmed. Our fences were in place and people run over them. They’ve stolen two large gates.”

Brooks believes criminals spend time there now doing more than just illegal dumping. Every week, she notices something different dumped on or near her land.

“They dump construction waste. They’ve dumped tires, mattresses, old sofas, old clothes… All kinds of junk,” she said.

Shotgun shells, cigarettes, pizza boxes and clothes are evidence someone is trespassing and spending time in the area.

Brooks said she once found a blue barrel hidden on her land.  

“It was buried underground and the lid was on top of it and there was branches thrown on top,” she said.

County crews came and cleared some of the trash on the easement near her land, but not all of it.

Hidalgo County Precinct 1 officials said they do what they can to combat illegal dumping across the county. Unfortunately, they said they can’t do anything about what’s on private property.

They also said if people have suspicion about illegal activity happening on their land, they need to contact the sheriff’s office.

The county sent us the following statement that reads in part:

“There are serious effects on illegal dumping, including:

Property values may decline

Illegal dumping become breeding habitats for snakes, rodents, mosquitoes, etc. which can spread diseases

Illegal dumping such as trash and debris will cause flooding by blocking drains, culverts, ditches and not letting water run freely”

Brooks said she’s put up No Trespassing and No Dumping signs dozens of times and they always get torn down. She wants the county to put up more permanent signs or cameras.

The county said their resources are limited. They said the most important deterrent is to call the constable’s office every time someone notices illegal activity.

There are locations in Hidalgo County Precinct 1 where you can legally dump trash:

Mile 4 1/2 North East of FM 493

Donna, TX

Mon-Fri 7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sat. 7:00 am - 1:00 pm 

Mile 5 1/2 West Road & Mile 21 North Monte Alto area

Mon-Fri. 7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sat. 7:00 am -1:00 pm 

Mile 1 East and 6 North Mercedes, TX

Mon-Fri.7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sat. 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

Mile 11 North and Mile 1 1/2 West Weslaco, TX

Mon-Fri.7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sat. 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

FM 493 & 4th St. Hargill area

Mon-Fri. 7:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sat. 7:00 am - 1:00 pm

The precinct is also about to kick off an awareness campaign to let people know about the consequences of illegal dumping. 

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