Tom Littlepage is a man of many messages.
"I put this little post: 'Dear Bad Guys, the ordinance passed. Sorry for your luck. It sucks to be you. Signed, the Good Guys,'" said Littlepage.
As the Southeast Side Neighborhood Association President, Littlepage knows the names and faces behind each mailbox.
But there are a few he never said goodbye to.
"Take this house behind me for example, the people just walked away from the house," said Littlepage as he referenced a home in the 2900 block of Cass Ave. "The house is vacant, there's vehicles. It could turn into something that's attractive for criminals."
A paper sign won't keep criminals from stealing but a paper ordinance just might. Littlepage believes Evansville's newly approved landlord registry works through communication and prevention.
"This ordinance will definitely help us to have some sort of contact with who owns what properties," said Littlepage. "We need to find out if the person's gone, if they're coming back, why did this happen, stuff like that."
Proponents of the ordinance say it's necessary because of how many people are affected by rental properties. More than 40% of Evansville's total population rents. Furthermore, proponents say the ordinance say it would help the Evansville Police Department to be more efficient in it's investigations. As of now, officers often spend days, if not weeks, searching for an absent landlord. Those landlords often hide behind LLCs, officials say, and don't have a vested interest in the community.
Littlepage shares the same concerns as his fellow neighbors even if he doesn't share the same address. It takes every home to make a good neighborhood. But only one home to make a bad neighborhood.
"Two o'clock, Sunday afternoon, nice sunny day, somebody pulls a gun on somebody," said Littlepage. "We're really going from nuisance crimes to where it's dangerous even during the day. The problem with that is, you can't let your guard down."
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke signed the ordinance earlier on Thursday.