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Residents frustrated, worried following string of crimes in Salt Lake County



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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Residents of a Salt Lake County neighborhood say they're fed up following a string of crimes. The area is centered around the intersection of 3900 South and 700 West.

Monday night, a man was sent to the hospital following a fight at apartment complex near the area. His girlfriend was treated by paramedics at the scene and released. Salt Lake County Sheriff's investigators say as many as 10 people were involved and shots were fired.

"Nobody was hit, but we did recover some shell casings," said Lt. Don Hutson, spokesman for the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office. "We also recovered a knife that was hidden in the bushes."

Investigators are questioning people and expect charges to be filed in the future.

According to neighbors, nights like this are becoming an all too common occurrence.

"Just in the last week alone we've had the cops out here three or four times," said apartment resident Tyra Griffin.

She says the crimes have ranged from gang fights to stabbings and she worries for the safety of her children.

"I'd like to see more patrols, more gang intervention because the gang problem is really serious out here," Griffin said.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office says it does receive more calls to this area than other neighborhoods; deputies believe part of that is due to the number of large apartment complexes in the area: so many people are living in close proximity.

Deputies also acknowledge a gang problem in the area and say they're by no means ignoring it.

"We have involved the Metro Gang Unit. We are investigating the crimes that have occurred. We've stepped up the patrols in the area," Hutson said.

The sheriff's office says it's counting on residents to be its eyes and ears and report problems. Griffin says she'll do even more. She's talking to residents about forming a neighborhood watch program.

"I'm afraid it's going to take a child getting killed, or an innocent bystander getting killed, for them to finally do something," Griffin said.

KSL 5 News spoke to apartment managers who outlined their security systems, from lighting to individual security patrols. But residents say it's not enough.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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