Fewer cars in Red Apple Motel lot after October's homicide

YAKIMA, Wash. -- After last month's murder at the Red Apple Motel, management has increased security. But KIMA pulled the numbers and found out that crime is still on the rise.

Yakima Police almost caught 22-year-old Angel Fabian Venegas. He is the alleged murder suspect of the Red Apple Motel homicide back in October.

Motel management and residents want to see results.

"It's surprising. He should be in custody," said motel manager Kulwinder Senghe.

"You have a family so you can protect them and you want the best for them," said tenant John Jacob Lambert. "You want to nurture them and love them, but you can't always do that in an unsafe environment."

Lambert has been staying at the hotel for months. He's concerned for the safety of his family.

Tenants told KIMA they have noticed fewer cars in the parking lot since the murder.

"More rooms are empty because of the homicide," said Jennifer. "People are more scared to get rooms here because they don't know if they're going to get broken into."

Or worse...The number of crime incidents have increased since last year. Code Enforcement also says, last month they received more than 21 chronic nuisance calls, that's more than other motels.

The recent murder was a wake up call to management.

(((Kulwinder Senghe)))
"We do not rent to bad people," said Senghe. "So we check if we know people and if they've stayed before. If they're trouble makers we don't rent to them."

Night watch patrols now circle the area every hour. If any suspicious activity is reported among tennants, it's one strike and you're out. Neighbors say more can still be done.

"It can be better if they can have pictures of faces on the wall or something," said Jennifer. "You know in the window right there when you check in. That would make me feel a lot safer."

The manager hopes to turn the motel around and become crime free by partnering up with Yakima Police and Code Enforcement.

Red Apple management will be meeting with authorities December 3rd on ways to clean up the area.