GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) — Shoppers at a Garden Grove Walmart say they’re being harassed by a group of homeless people in the parking lot, but police say they cannot do anything about it.

Neighbors say a homeless camp has popped up in the parking lot leading to vandalism and harassment, and they say Walmart will not ask them to leave.

Security guards and crews to pick up trash have been hired for area parking lots to combat some issues, but shoppers still say they feel unsafe and frustrated.

“There’s just a lot of homeless, a lot, asking for money,” said one shopper who was there with a child. “I don’t come after it’s dark.”

And when area cops are called out to the scene, their hands are tied.

“Many times they sit there and say, ‘Can’t you just arrest them?” But it doesn’t work that way,” Brian Meers, a Garden Grove police officer assigned to the homelessness problem, said. “Most of the violations in the state are misdemeanor crimes now and they get out in six hours, and the reality of it is that they’re going to go right back to doing what they were doing before.”

Walmart did not respond to a request for comment.

Comments (11)
  1. Sandra Klein says:

    My question to the police: Is I.D. requested? If no I.D.. are fingerprints taken? Is there a warrant check? Someone may be wanted elsewhere. Issue a citation and when they don’t show up and pay, issue a bench warrant. After enough warrants are issued, they can be arrested. Lose their stuff and make it unpleasant to stick around

  2. Steve Bellovary says:

    Where is this Walmart located? Don’t want to go anywhere near it to avoid the problems that Garden Grove & Walmart won’t deal with.