Sacramento business owner blocks street in attempt to keep homeless people out – CBS Sacramento

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A public street in Sacramento was blocked by barricades, a moving van and a 24-hour security guard. It’s a new tactic used by a business along Railroad Drive to hunt homeless campers.

Rich Eaton owns a warehouse along dead-end Industrial Street and has set up the blockade.

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“We don’t arrest anything but the infamous,” he said. “Bad people who come here to commit crimes, that’s why we’re here.”

Two months ago, the street was filled with RVs, tents and trailers lining the block. Homeless people camped there at all hours of the day despite city rules prohibiting overnight parking, and businesses say crimes like theft, drugs and prostitution were out of control.

“We used to come home every night worrying about our stuff being stolen,” said Justin Funkhouser, who works on the street.

“Literally every day there was a stolen vehicle that was left here in pieces,” said John Rippey, a business owner on the street.

“The city refuses to enforce the law on Railroad Drive, so it’s a free zone. The criminal knows that,” Eaton said.

The city swept campers from the area a few weeks ago. Now, with the barricade in place, the homeless have not returned.

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“It got really, really nice,” Rippey said.

But the city says Eaton’s plan is illegal. Code enforcement officers came out and told him to remove the orange barricades blocking the street.

After city officials left, a large moving van and trailer were parked there, closing the street again. Homeless people who had previously slept there say it is unfair for private businesses to close a public street.

“The guy told me I couldn’t walk down the street unless I had official business,” said Renell Parker.

Eaton, who also filed a lawsuit against the city, said this type of action is needed until the homelessness crisis is resolved.

“Maybe I’m starting a trend, maybe other people should do it and they’ll understand that enough is enough,” he said.

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The city said a citation will be issued if the street continues to be blocked.

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