CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered a new look at how a Cleveland police evidence lot ended up littered with rusted out cars and overgrown trees and weeds.

We only found one request by police to have the city do anything about the condition of that evidence lot. What you see there today looks a lot like what we revealed months ago.

Wednesday, we sent DroneFOX over the evidence lot on Cleveland’s west side. Investigators hold vehicles there that have been used in the most serious crimes.

Back in June, we revealed many vehicles that had been there so long, they are now heavily rusted. So many weeds and trees are overgrown that some vehicles can’t be seen. Others have vegetation growing out of them.

The I-Team put in a request for work orders — any documents from police asking the city to fix up and clean up.

But, the city only sent us a copy of one request. A work order to fix a fence in 2021 after a man had been arrested for stealing from cars there.

Police video showed officers asking the suspect, “you just happened to walk up that hill and find that hole in the fence? Had you ever been here before?”

In June, the mayor’s office told us the city has a sweeping plan to address problems at the evidence lot, but we did not get a timetable from the city.

A spokesperson sent the following:

“The City of Cleveland, Division of Police is aware of challenging conditions that exist at Impound Lot #2 and is currently working with respective city departments to address those issues. In addition, the Division of Police is working with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to address the number of vehicles housed at the lot and the length of time that the vehicles are stored there. Finally, the city is exploring the opportunity to transition to an online vehicle auction protocol. The online option could significantly reduce the number of vehicles that are maintained at the city’s vehicle impound lots (overcrowding).

The work order list for Vehicle Impound Lot 2 includes ( but is not limited to):

·         Repairs to the roof and gutters that are hanging 

·         Perimeter fence replacement

·         Vegetation clearing surrounding the Lot as well as the entrance from Bradley Road 

·         Heating system/duct system repairs 

·         Erosion control