Cooper-Young residents fighting back against crime - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cooper-Young residents fighting back against crime

In the last month, nearly 200 crimes have happened in a one-mile radius of the Cooper-Young intersection.

Some of the victims did not want to share their last names.

"I'm afraid to take the garbage out," Janelle worried after watching a teen attempt to rob her daughter at gunpoint. "There he was with the gun up to her going, 'give me your keys'."

Janelle screamed and the teens fled.

"It's gone too far. It's out of control," said Ken Fleming.

A teen held him up at gunpoint and stole his wallet and cell phone the same week of Janelle's run-in.

"I gave him the wallet and I said 'please don't shoot me. That's all I have. Please. Please don't kill me. Please. I begged him not to kill me."

"I'm afraid to go to sleep at night," said Traci, who was shocked to learn her car was gone when she went to her driveway to go for work. "They had taken a brick and put it through the window and stole my car. They found it less than 24 hours later, but it was ruined," she explained.

Traci noticed a tag spray-painted on the sidewalk the day before her car was stolen. The other two say the teen robbers had similar disguises: bandanas over their mouths.

Neighbors are installing lights, cutting down brush to create a better line of sight and some are even talking about arming themselves with weapons.

"There's alleys behind all these houses that I feel like need to be closed off," said Traci.

One group plans to draft a petition to ask for more police presence on side streets.

"Right now on Cooper-Young where all the restaurants are, there are police on bicycles and on foot, which is a good thing. Those police now need to disperse into the surrounding neighborhoods to make sure that the crime is kept at bay," said Parms.

He says neighbors plan to walk door-to-door to get signatures next week. They all say they will not take this one sitting down.

Memphis Police say they're keeping close tabs on the Cooper-Young area, pointing out that they made recent arrests of suspects targeting Midtown. It's unknown if the arrests are linked to the Cooper-Young crimes.

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