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Armed guard keeps squatters away
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Providing security at the two-story rooming house on Yosemite and Sycamore avenues, Jack Iezaru and armed guard Dennis Souza discuss the available times the former residents can pick up their property. - photo by GLENN KAHL

The downtown Sycamore Arms is the second time Manteca’s Jack Iezaru has been put in charge of a receivership situation in Manteca where he has been contracted to oversee the process before a facility is allowed to be resold following litigation.

Iezaru, who took the lead when the Manteca Inn was closed down, is now in the midst of clearing out the old 1919 hotel of “squatters” at the corner of Yosemite and Sycamore avenues where about 16 residents were told this week that they would have to leave their one-room units.

Ownership was transferred Tuesday by the courts to the Los Angeles based Receivership Specialist Corporation that hired the Mantecan to act as their agent.

Iezaru said the “renters” had no receipts for any payments of rent for their rooms in the upstairs apartments. Some said they had paid rent that amounted to reportedly $25 a day, adding that there was no proof that anything had ever been paid . He labed them as squatters. 

“I’m sorry this had to happen, but people can’t live like this – this had to be done,” he said. 

Iezaru said most of the residents knew something was going to happen. He added many were OK with it.

The Manteca Code Enforcement officer and the Battalion fire chief inspected the units before they were emptied on Monday and noted there were no fire or smoke alarms. They discovered one burning candle in one of the rooms, Iezaru said.

The recent owner of the building, Laurie Share, was quoted by the Receivership Corporation stipulating that the current occupants of the property have no rights to be there. “They do not have leases or rental agreements and are not otherwise authorized to occupy the property, no matter what they claim. They are illegal trespassers who have gained access to the property by breaking windows or locks and will be removed from the premises.”

Iezaru is also being charged with coordinating the installation of gates in the rear of the property where “squatters” have reportedly been entering the property by breaking rear windows. He will also be working with an alarm company and boarding up the windows.

The property includes a long established hotel in the 100 block of Sycamore Avenue that includes a retail unit at 110 Sycamore Avenue and three facing Yosemite Avenue.