St. Pete police to homeless:
Authorities are poised to confiscate the property of a group of homeless people camped outside the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen -- or at least those belongings the homeless can't carry off on their own.
Move your belongings or lose them
A posting outside the kitchen in downtown St. Petersburg gave the homeless a deadline for removing their things or they will be stored by police.
On Jan. 24, 2008, the city council passed an ordinance allowing police to confiscate the effects of the homeless that block sidewalks and other rights of way. The rule is aimed at eliminating encampments on sidewalks.
"If they block the sidewalk or some public access their stuff will be picked up and stored," said police spokesman George Kajtsa. "That's what the ordinance says."
Gary Bush, an operation for the St. Petersburg codes enforcement department, said the posting was not unusual. No specific complaint was made regarding the soup kitchen site, but whenever a code enforcement or police officer sees belongings beginning to accumulate at a particular location, action is taken, Bush said.
Read the Tampa Tribune report here.