Santa Maria - North County

America's drug problem hits close to home for one Santa Maria family

Family was enjoying barbecue when pipe was found

America s drug problem hits close to...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - It's a place the Castanada family uses all the time, but now they say they're creeped out from what they found in their backyard on Sunday.

"My dad's best friend came over and he was teaching us some stuff with football and I said "Nate, what's that?"," explained Issac Castaneda. 

What they found was a drug pipe that they believe was thrown over their backyard wall.

"As a mom, I was very concerned - as was my husband - for that fact that we feel this is a safe neighborhood or once was a safe neighborhood," said Homewoner Andrea Castaneda. 

Castaneda is not alone, another neighbor on the Nextdoor app wrote she's experienced something similar at her home several times. 

Castaneda thinks one solution is leveling off the wall in her backyard and making it higher but she says the city told her it can't be higher than six feet.

"I feel the higher that it gets, the less likely it would be to stuff into people's yards," Castaneda said. 

The other side of her wall faces a bike trail and the 101. When we went back there Tuesday afternoon, we found an empty jar of medical cannabis left in the brush.

"We've seen people over by the trees and it's very scary and I just don't feel safe in my neighborhood anymore," Castaneda said. 

The Santa Maria Police Department says since no one saw who threw the pipe, it's hard to investigate further as it's difficult to get fingerprints off of it. 

Lt. Paul Van Meel says neighbors should work together to try to see who may be behind their homes, teliing us: "It always helps if you have neighbors watching out for one another and people that maybe see something and they feel comfortable calling us and say hey I saw this guy, this is the description, gives us something to go on."

If you find drug paraphernalia, the Santa Maria Police Departments asks that you give them a call so they can properly get rid of it.


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