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Homeless use flag as towel
Showering in yards to fighting residents
Magna-homelessDSC 7804-LT
A homeless camp next to the southbound lanes of Highway 99 is no longer hidden from view after angry and frustrated neighbors cut down trees that were hiding several men and their bicycles. A Central Manteca sign is seen on the shoulder of the freeway. - photo by GLENN KAHL

So how do the homeless take showers?

Jack Snyder has an answer.

Neighbors caught several homeless disconnecting the hose to his swamp cooler and taking an impromptu shower in his side yard.

Then they stole a California flag hanging from his front porch to towel off.

Prior to the Library Park restrooms being locked, the homeless use to take the equivalent of sponge baths at that downtown facility.

• • •

Neighbors fight back with chain saws

Magna Terra neighborhood residents fed up with the pilfering of property such as tables and patio umbrellas from their yards and patios armed themselves with chain saw to take matters into their own hands.

Three men tracked the homeless individuals they saw swiping some items to an encampment nestled against the sound wall along Highway 99 in the neighborhood north and east of Doctors Hospital of Manteca. The encampment that included a collection of patio and yard items was camouflaged from the public’s view by a series of small trees. The men returned to the site located near the Caltrans storm basin east of Cottage Avenue after fetching a chain saw. They then cut down the trees as the homeless looked on.

Bicycles were seen to the left of the makeshift tent where they were left leaning against the wall.  One neighbor said Manteca Police said they were unable to do anything about the encampment because it was located on private property.  The property owner would have to file a complaint about the homeless on their property for law enforcement to act.

Magna Terra is the same neighborhood where residents are saying they are fed up with what they contend is nonstop criminal activity after the shooting death of 11-year-old Hunter Davis at a home they described as a “flop house” for teens and young adults.

• • •

Drive-by panhandling by homeless on bicycles

A polite homeless panhandler has decided being mobile is a better way to collect cash.

He was slowly pedaling by the entrance and exit to Food 4 Less Saturday evening asking shoppers if they have money.

Other homeless panhandlers have staked locations as they mine the public for cash.

One routinely shows up at the Union Road interchange and plants himself at the off ramp. He was recently seen with two milk crates that he was resting on while working the motoring public. As usual, his white pickup was parked nearby.

Another panhandler routinely can be found as the off ramp of the eastbound 120 Bypass at Main Street.

During the last crackdown on the homeless triggered by aggressive panhandling several years ago, Manteca put in place a city ordinance that made begging for money at intersections controlled by traffic signals illegal. Police routinely put pressure on them until they disappeared.

Apparently the homeless haven’t gotten the memo.

• • •

Homeless lady fights with resident

Remember the height of the foreclosure crisis when Manteca Police were legally powerless to do anything about neighbors’ complaints about squatters because officers couldn’t contact or even determine the owners of the home to see whether the people in question had permission to be there?

That was a fairly straightforward issue. If the squatters said they had permission to be there and the police couldn’t contact the owner to prove otherwise, there was no crime being broken under trespassing laws.

Manteca’s growing homeless problem has generated legal issues of its own that are frustrating residents.

Jason and Mindi Webb of Manteca took to social media to express their frustration.

He had to intercede to stop a fight between a neighbor and a homeless lady who “was very high on meth.”

Police were called but since the homeless lady was on private property and another neighbor told her she could use the stairwell for shelter at night, police were powerless to do anything.

The couple is asking whether they can physically restrain someone who is trying to beat up someone. They also wonder what they can do legally.

Of course the couple wouldn’t be in such a quandary and the police wouldn’t be as powerless if the homeless issue wasn’t being allowed to fester in Manteca.