Residents worry youth gang problem intensifying
By JOE STEVENS
SARASOTA COASTAL – With the number of young men who have turned up in the area around downtown Sarasota is still rising.
Police are warning that the situation may take a turn for the worse as residents are not as supportive of them.
That anger can make it hard for officers to find a solution when it comes to the problem, officials said.
That anger comes from many of the same areas, officials said. A large part of it comes from a high number of gang members who turned up in the area in recent years.
Many are repeat offenders, some of whom have also turned up in the area around downtown Sarasota to try to get to their families or jobs there.
In some cases, some of them don’t have the money to pay for court appearances 룰렛for themselves and their relatives.
So many have done so that Sarasota police are now working with the public on how they can go about combating gang crime.
A coalition of organizations is working to help police catch the criminals who might be in the area. The effort includes a pilot program on how to find violent teens and keep them off the streets.
Those who would be targeted are young males and teens with criminal history who have been arrested at least three times.
The police report shows some of the arrests in 2013:
At least 10 kids were charged in connection with robberies at banks, homes or restaurants, including the same number in 2009
At least five young men who had already been arrested in 2008 for armed robberies at businesses and homes were charged in connection with the same bank robbery in 2012
Three young men turned themselves in and were found with guns last fall in connection with a multi-vehicle robbery near the intersection of Main and Lacey streets
“We have heard from the community in that they believe gang members come to areas of the city to join and to gather and to get the opportunity to join a gang,” said Joe Straczynski, chief of homicide division of the Sarasota Police Department.
He said the officers with the unit called the police chief to make sure there are many more officers patrolling downtown.
Police hope to begin seeing officers patrolling the street in the neighborhood next month.
For now, many people are happ