N. Toledo seniors won't leave because of crime

By Lisa Rantala - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

NORTH TOLEDO (WTOL) - This is the second deadly attack on the elderly -- both in their own homes and both in the same neighborhood just three months apart.

While one case is solved, concerns continue to grow after the other. Twenty years ago, north Toledo was a thriving Polish neighborhood.

Dynamics have changed, but the Polish culture remains in places like the Zablocki Senior Center. Now these seniors say they're ready to fight for their neighborhood after two Polish women have been killed.

The count is on at the Zablocki Senior Center. This time it's bingo. They've also added up the number of deadly attacks in their north end neighborhood just this year.

Director of the center, Jim Gramza told News 11, "We made sure that Cecilia had a cell phone that she could only call 911."

Police say 83-year-old Cecelia Sobecki died in February when Mandi Abdo came into her Austin Street home to rob her and pushed her down. Sobecki suffered a broken wrist and a broken hip but told Abdo she wasn't giving up her money.

"She said her and her husband bought that house, and she's not going to leave there," said Gramza of Cecelia Sobecki.

It was a fight she told us she was battling even in 2006. In a 2006 interview, Cecelia Sobecki told News 11, "I had a shooting on the right and left-hand side of my house. Real shootings."

News 11's Dick Berry asked her, "Do you feel safe living here?"

"No, but I ain't going to move out because of them," she said.

Then this week, police say another intruder forced his way into Frances and Ken Fox's Mulberry home and beat them both. 74-year-old Ken lived. 88-year-old Frances died.

Senior resident Carolyn Hammer told us, "Oh yes, I've heard a lot of people, I got family saying you should move out of there. I tell them no."

Seniors at the center are left adding up their ammo, like installing house alarms, carrying cell phones and not answering doors to strangers.

"You have to watch yourself every, every minute," said Carolyn.