NEWARK (KPIX 5) — The Newark planning commission was set to vote Wednesday on whether to close down a motel that’s been in business in the city for 30 years because it appears to be a magnet for criminal activity.
Between 2009 and 2012 there have been 760 arrests and 2,400 emergency calls at the E-Z 8 Motel on Cedar Court in Newark.
The motel makes up 17 percent of the police department’s calls for service.
“There have been robberies rapes, child abductions, kidnappings, drug use,” said Newark City Manager John Becker. “Over the past we’ve had a number of issues and frankly we reached a point where enough is enough.
However, the attorney for the motel’s owners said the high rate of arrests compared to other motels and hotels is because her client cooperates with police.
“Cooperation of the E-Z 8 with the Newark Police Department results in criminals, to the extent they chose to house themselves here, being apprehended,” said attorney Anna Roppo.
Roppo showed KPIX 5 an agreement signed this week with the city of Newark that includes existing and additional security measures and says the statistics are being unfairly skewed.
“Those crimes do not happen here for the most part,” said Roppo. “The majority of them are arrests on warrants for crimes that were committed elsewhere.”
Last year, the E-Z 8 had roughly one arrest for every 1,000 guests – and arrests are down 73 percent since 2010 – according to Roppo.
One way to discourage the shady characters would be to raise the $49.99 room rate, which is the lowest in the city. But that could push a number of families living at the E-Z 8 into homeless shelters.
If the planning commission decides to revoke the motel’s permit, the owner could appeal to the Newark city council.