ATWATER VILLAGE ( — Atwater Village merchants said they were fed up with the stinky messes left by the homeless in their neighborhood.

Peachy Mahapol, who works at a Thai restaurant on Fletcher Drive, said he and his neighbors have had to clean up human waste left outside their businesses nearly everyday for the past three weeks.

“It smells so bad. We think that it’s just a dog because we don’t think it’s going to be the human because who going to do that? So disgusting,” Mahapol said.

But then toilet paper started showing up with some of the messes.

Sita Patel is a chef at an Indian restaurant that has been spared so far. But it is just a matter of time, she said.

“My staff would quit. I can’t even imagine going to my dishwasher and saying: Please! Somebody just peed outside. Can you put some soap and water out there?” Patel said.

The Los Angeles Police Department said it was aware of the problem and could cite offenders if they are caught in the act.

The homeless population has grown dramatically in the Atwater Village area, according to police.

Many live along the Los Angeles River, which is only a few blocks away from the restaurants and shops.

Police said officers often try to convince the homeless to leave the area and go to shelters. Apparently, not many had taken that advice.

Mahapol said he worried the stinky problem could hurt business if it continues.

“We clean it up before we open the restaurant so the customer doesn’t see it. But the smell is still here,” he said.


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