A Tallahassee business manager says her employees and customers are being harassed by homeless people living behind her store. The manager says she's losing customers and one employee even quit after her purse was stolen.
The manager of the Dunkin Doughnuts and Baskin Robins on Thomasville Road says she's desperate for some help. She says she hopes she gets it before someone is seriously hurt.
Gerri Blackman manages the Dunkin Doughnuts and Baskin Robins on Thomasville Road. She says normally it's a great job, but lately she's got a serious work related problem, one she says could escalate to physical harm.
Gerri says, "We have a big wooded area and we are constantly calling the Sheriff's Department because there are homeless people living back there, going through our dumpster and spreading trash all over the pavement. They're camping back there.”
Blackman is talking about a homeless camp.
"The homeless are harassing our employees and demanding things in our store and threatening us."
Blackman says sheriff's deputies have made numerous attempts to catch the people in this camp.
"Three or four deputies found some camp stuff, but they haven't caught them yet. Deputies go in one way the people go out another."
The Sheriff's Office is aware of the situation and say they are doing all they can.
Linda Butler with the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, "Don't approach them. You never know what kind of state they're in. Some homeless do have problems you can't assess by looking at them. Call us. We'll handle it. Hopefully that will protect your property."
Blackman says the deputies have been wonderful to her and her staff and have tried very hard to catch the campers, but no avail just yet. She's hoping the city will agree to cut back some of the brush to make the area behind her store less appealing for camping.
The Tallahassee Coalition for the Homeless is aware of this problem. The director, Kay Freeman, sent someone out immediately to speak with the manager. They're hoping to make contact with these campers to let them know about various programs that are available to them.
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