Karin T. Meyer is mad and is demanding city action about homeless individuals trashing several of her more than 100 rental units throughout Manteca.
“All the vagrants, homeless, gang members and people steal locks, light fixtures, curtains, equipment and destroy my properties. Yet I am responsible for their actions and I pay for all the damage I encounter,” she said.
Meyer, 88, has been involved in real estate in Manteca since first moving to the “Family City” in 1961. She believes the city’s nighttime closure of Library Park has caused even more of the transient population to carry their backpacks down the nearby alleys to seek out a place to bed down in her vacant homes.
“They all have dogs,” she added.
She told of one of her homes in the 100 block of Jessie Avenue where she had completely painted and replaced the flooring before it was invaded by transients who left burned spots in the carpets and human fecies filling the toilet and the bathtub. Evidence of dried vomit was also found in the kitchen sink, she added. A neighbor said they came through the back fence.
In the 200 block of McNary Circle tenants had cut a 10-by 10- foot section out of her carpeting in the living room before moving out. Also in the 1300 block of North Street tenants who had been evicted by Sheriff’s deputies for non-payment of rent returned to the duplex and cut the locks to regain entry where she found a cache of new bicycles. She said she can obtain a court writ for eviction within a week of non-payment of rent for a cost of near $500.
It is not uncommon that a couple will rent one of her houses and then bring in up to seven more women and children to live with them. Such was the case at one of her West Yosemite Avenue homes where she found four illegal residents living in the garage. They were deported, she noted, but returned within a month to her garage sleeping on bare mattresses.
Meyer has taken exception with the City of Manteca water department when they billed her for turning on the water to allow two of her staff members to sleep in the house for several nights where they guarded against intruders.
“They said I would have to pay $139 so I drove over to the City of Manteca Finance Department and discussed the situation at length,” she said. “I advised them that I needed the water turned on and that I am not responsible for the bill and neither is the (former) tenant. The following week I received an invoice for $250 for a broken water meter and valve. In my over 53 years in Manteca, I pay $2,000 to $4,000 in water bills every month. Now in August my bill has come for $431.44 for a house that has been empty.”
As for the broken water meter she referred to the city website that states that the city water division is responsible for the installation, repair and maintenance of water meters.
A blow to her patience came in early February when her rural home security monitoring firm called her to say burglars were in her home, two adults having dug a passage hole under the back yard fence. She said they had rifled through her belongings but didn’t take anything. A week later a similar call from her security monitoring firm said they could see on video monitors that there were some 20 people going from room to room, downstairs and upstairs.
She said she was recovering from surgery for a broken hip and had to be driven from her Main Street office to her residence. There were multiple police cars in front of her home where she witnessed officers with their weapons drawn at the ready.
The burglars had made off with most of her jewelry that amounted to thousands upon thousands of dollars. She said her insurance man said it would not be worth the effort to make any claims because proof of purchase documents, which she probably didn’t have any longer, would have to be presented for coverage payments.