A Sacramento business owner hires a private security company to illegally block off a public street where many homeless people live.
Rich Eaton, owner of several properties on Railroad Drive in the Old North Sacramento business park, blocked off the entire street after one of his buildings was burglarized last month. It is the latest in a series of crimes committed in recent months by homeless people, including theft, drug trafficking, illegal dumping, prostitution and arson, he said. “We’re not anti-homelessness,” said Eaton, who sued the city in 2021 to demand that homeless vehicles be cleared from the streets. “It has very little to do with homeless people. It has everything to do with crime and lack of action.
The street includes a warehouse that the city used as a large homeless shelter until 2019 – larger shelters in other parts of the city have opened, including Meadowview and near the WX highway, but are usually full. Three warehouses used for growing cannabis also operate along the street, including two owned by Eaton’s, according to public city records. The city issued a citation to Eaton for violating a city code that prohibits the blocking of public streets without a permit earlier last week, according to city spokeswoman Kelli Trapani in an email to The Sacramento Bee.