Deputy Les Garcia, spokesman for the San Joaquin County Sheriff department, said that neighbors had complained about people trespassing on a property at the corner, which was the site of a former home and barn.
Garcia described the people as squatters who gathered near a large tree near the edge of the road. He said the property owner had made arrangements to remove the tree on Monday and Tuesday.
Deputies were sent to keep the peace and make sure there were no confrontations between the crews removing the tree and the squatters.
Garcia said the people on the property were trespassing and could have been arrested, though no one was. He did not have an exact number of squatters, describing the group as “several” people.
The only record of a complaint by neighbors was on Monday, Garcia said, and he did not know how long complaints had been made.
The Press spoke with 10 neighbors on Lammers Road between Grant Line and Middle roads on Wednesday, none of whom said they had complained about the people trespassing. All the neighbors said they were used to seeing homeless people walk down Lammers to the property.
On Monday and Tuesday, crews could be seen removing trees and branches along Lammers Road. They also removed concrete from the foundation of a barn that used to be on the property and large piles of trash, including shopping carts, bottles, bags and other debris.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, people who had been squatting in the field lined up along Grant Line Road across from the field with possessions they had taken from the property.
Tracy Police Department Lt. Luis Mejia said Thursday that the police had not received any complaints about the people, nor had they broken any laws by sitting on the lawn with their possessions.
“Being homeless isn’t a crime,” Mejia said. “Being homeless doesn’t give you any less rights than you or me.”
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