OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - A group called "Take Back Oceanside" with some 300 members strong is vowing the clean up the filth and violence they say has crept into their neighborhood along the San Luis Rey riverbed.
Organizer Drew Andrioff says the crime is out of control.
"We believe other coastal communities are giving the transients bus and train tickets here, and the city is limited in what they can do. It's gotten so bad no one wants to take their kids out. Police don't come down here after dark because the camps have traps....trip wires and sharp bamboo," said Andrioff.
Police estimate nearly 500 homeless people are living along the riverbank. The Oceanside Police Department has made over 1,000 arrests in that area since the first of the year.
Lifelong Oceanside resident Donna McGinty says the crime is seeping into the city.
"Every atrocity imaginable is happening down there. Prostitution is rampant. The transient groups have their own little government down there and it's well organized," she said.
Pictures taken by the neighborhood group show used needles, hundreds of shopping carts, heaping trash, a machete, and a polluted river.
The group plans to attend the Oceanside City Council meeting on October 17 to ask for help.