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Bethel residents speak out against homeless trespassers

Residents tell KEZI 9 News homeless people in the area have stolen their things and trespassed on their properties.

Posted: Sep 4, 2019 7:01 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 6:34 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Residents in the Bethel area continue to speak out about the problems brought about by homeless people getting on their properties.

Brent Mitchell lives on Berntzen Road across the street from Petersen Park. He said he and his neighbors have been dealing with trespassers and homeless people stealing items for years.

RELATED: RESIDENTS UPSET OVER HOMELESS PRESENCE ON THEIR PROPERTIES

Mitchell said they started a neighborhood watch program recently. He said while that's helped, it hasn't solved all their problems.

"I'm trying to teach my grandson and my dad taught me you respect other people and their property," Mitchell said. "I don't want to bring them harm or anything, but I don't really know how to combat the problem."

One man who lives on the same street said a number of years ago he had to call police after he found a homeless man in his home taking a shower. He said vagrants continue to get on his property and steal items, and he's fed up with the issue and is getting ready to move.

KEZI 9 News reached out to Mayor Lucy Vinis to find out what she makes of the problems Bethel homeowners describe and find out more about what she and the city are doing to address homelessness in Eugene. But we were told by city staff that she was to busy to speak with us on Wednesday.

Eugene police said there are some things property owners can do to stop trespassers, including posting no trespassing signs on their properties and filing a Trespass Letter of Consent with them so they can take action when the property owners are not around.

Police said with more funding, they are also hiring more officers so they can respond to non-emergency calls more quickly.

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