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Arizona Lawmakers Target Loitering

CAVE CREEK, Ariz. -- A Cave Creek town councilman took issue with local convenience stores, calling the crowds that sometimes gather outside of them "low-lifes."

Councilman Jerry Whitmore's comments, primarily aimed at Circle K, said convenience store operators "never seem to care" when commenting on an agenda item concerning loitering on public and private property, according to Sonoran (Ariz.) News.

"The problem is when low-lifes cause problems there is nothing the police can do about it unless they are ordered off the property," he said, adding that loitering in Cave Creek has moved "beyond an annoyance."

Mayor Vincent Francia instructed Cave Creek town attorneys to write to operators of the Circle Ks and other property owners concerning unauthorized loitering.

Whitmore outlined a problem that has evolved into men drinking in public, fist fights nearly breaking out and rude comments being directed at women. He suggested that town attorneys make inquiries of the state liquor board to see what can be done. He also mentioned the formation of a local task force that could look into the problem.

A second lawmaker, Councilman Ralph Mozilo, said he is considering writing an ordinance to prevent loitering around Cave Creek convenience stores.
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