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Getting a grip on Midtown crime

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Getting a grip on Midtown crime

By Craig Smith. CREATED Jun 18, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a midtown neighborhood with a reputation for crime.  Now police and neighborhood groups are applauding some progress near Grant and Alvernon.
      
Police are adding enforcement, and keeping a higher profile on the street and local businesses are doing their part to take some of the trouble out of trouble spots.

Grant and Alvernon is a busy area for regular business...and shady business.

Andrew Johnson knows how bad it can be.

"My mom came home 2 months ago and had been not only robbed at gunpoint by a group of people that were in a car but they ran over her leg and crushed her foot and everything.  So she waddled home and said, 'Hey, I've been mugged."
    
Lately Police have been focusing their gang unit and special community response team here and they can point to some progress. Police say burglaries are dropping. 
    
Businesses like Retro City Apartments are stepping up.  Since new owners took over a month and a half ago, the complex has been evicting troublesome tenants and sharpening security.

Retro City manager Marie Barajas says, "We want to get very close to TPD and our courtesy patrol and try to get this activity down and trying to get these apartments down to where they have to be to make the community safer."

She tells us to make more of a break with the past Retro City apartments will have a new name soon: Catalina Towers.

Peter Baze says he's lived in Retro City about eight months.

"The people here that work here, they're good people.  They're really good people.  The new people that work here, that own this place, they're really good people. They're trying to help us that we live here, the residents, they're gonna put gates all the way around. They're gonna lock up all the doors."

Some people in the neighborhood say they're not seeing much improvement.

But others say teamwork by Police and neighborhood associations is making things better where Grant and Alvernon come together.

Another change that could be in the works...People who went to a neighborhood meeting say the WalMart manager told them the store might no longer stay open 24 hours. We're still trying to confirm that through WalMart.
 

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press