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Tracy Residents Worried About Unchecked Homeless Problem

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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TRACY (CBS13) — Tracy residents are worried a homeless hangout right behind their backyards could get out of control, and police aren’t doing enough to deal with the problem.

They say attempted break-ins and violence involving the homeless camping out behind their homes seems to be escalating.

The site next to a Interstate 5 soundwall was abandoned when we visited, but amid the garbage, there’s evidence of someone staying there—a sleeping bag and pillows, and bits and pieces of food.

“I know there’s a lot of homeless activity back there,” said Krystal Solis. “My concern is somebody breaking into my house.”

Another neighbor worries about the fights. She says someone was beaten with a baseball bat back there. She doesn’t want her face shown, but she says the homeless have started hopping the fence and heading into people’s backyards.

“My fear is we don’t know what they’re going to do next,” she said.

The fence surrounding the property isn’t doing its job as the gate is wide open and not keeping trespassers out. A crossed-out sign on the fence warns that it’s state-owned land, Caltrans to be exact.

The California Highway Patrol says its working with Caltrans to keep people out as best they can. They acknowledge Tracy has problems with homeless camps, but also say this spot isn’t one of the worst.

Solis believes cops should be doing more.

“I would like to see more police presence back there going back there once or twice a day,” she said.

Neighbors say they realize police have limited resources and tight budgets these days, and say they’ll be more vigilant in keeping watch for suspicious activity.

The CHP says first offenders seen in the area by officers are warned and told to leave. Repeat trespassers could face a citation or charges.

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