Report and photo
by Logan Hall
A major eyesore and safety hazard was removed from the side of Highway 33 Monday after a crew from Greg Rents in Oak View decided to step up and take care of business.
A small recreational vehicle shell had been dumped on the side of the highway near Nye Road in Casitas Springs recently, and had been attracting the attention of local citizens, law enforcement and trespassers. The California Highway Patrol had received calls to the public about transients using the abandoned camper as a home. “We know there was at least one person living in it,” said CHP Officer Dave Webb as he pointed toward the battered camper. “We also know whoever it was had started fires in the sink. We were just coming up here to haul it away.”
Webb says that the CHP had gotten calls about the camper and were going to have it hauled away before conducting an investigation as to who may have left it. The cost of the operation would have fallen on the taxpayers if no one was arrested and convicted for the illegal dumping of the camper. “We’re hauling this thing down to the dump,” said Greg Rents owner Greg Webster. “The people shouldn’t have to pay for this.”
Webster and his team, Chris Wieser, Robin Daniels and Gerado Estrada, arrived on scene Monday morning to begin hauling the dilapidated camper onto Webster’s flatbed truck using chains and a winch. The four citizens also shoveled piles of garbage into bags to haul off with the camper.
“It’s just hard to believe someone would just leave this thing here,” said Webster, who is footing the bill for the camper’s removal. “We’re just doing what we’ve got to do, you know? Somebody’s gotta do it.”
Shortly after loading the cumbersome camper onto the truck, Webster and his crew were busy mopping up as Webb pulled up in his patrol car. Webb told Webster that the CHP was planning on hauling out the camper later that day, but that now they would be spared the time and expense thanks to Webster’s help. “This is a good deed by the public,” said Webb. “It’s great to see members of the community willing to pitch in. I gotta give him an A-plus rating.”
Webb said that, aside from the obvious blight to the area’s aesthetic quality, the camper presented a health and safety issue. He added that the CHP would be conducting an investigation by running serial numbers of the camper, but weren’t holding out too much hope in catching whoever abandoned it. “Trailers can be tough,” he said. “There’s not much to go on as far as identification goes. That would be a nice little misdemeanor if we get him though.”
Webb provided a brief police escort for Webster as he drove the flatbed up the Arnaz Grade to his shop where he could prepare the load for the trip down to the dump.