Sacramento commercial landlord hiring a private security company to illegally block a public street where many homeless live.
Rich Eaton, owner of several properties on Railroad Drive in Old North Sacramento business park, blocked off the entire street after one of his buildings was burglarized last month. It was the latest in a string of crimes in recent months by people he believes are homeless, including robberies, drug dealing, illegal dumping, prostitution and arson, he said. “We’re not anti-homeless,” said Eaton, who sued the city in 2021 demanding to clear homeless vehicles from the street. “This has very little to do with unhoused people. It has everything to do with the crime and the lack of action.”
The street includes a warehouse the city used as a large homeless shelter up until 2019 - larger shelters in other parts of the city have been opened, including Meadowview and near the W-X freeway, but are typically full. Three warehouses used for cannabis cultivation now operate along the street as well, including two that Eaton owns, according to public city records. The city issued a citation to Eaton because he was violating a city code that prohibits blockage of public streets without a permit earlier last week, according to city spokeswoman Kelli Trapani in an email to The Sacramento Bee.