Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Fighting Midtown Crime - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Fighting Midtown Crime

Concerned citizens in one Midtown district say they've had enough, and now they're taking back their neighborhood.

The Vollintine-Evergreen district has had four armed robberies this month alone. Incidents including a carjacking near Rhodes College, a restaurant shooting and robberies at a coffee shop and a pizza parlor.

A K-9 officer named Gunner was stabbed while protecting his human partner during one of the area's recent robberies.

MPD Col. Billy Garrett, commander of the Union Station in Midtown, spoke very candidly to concerned residents at a meeting on Sunday afternoon.
"We're arresting the same people over and over and over," he said.
Garrett says weak sentences are the heart of the problem. "It would make your hair stand up on the back of your neck, how lightly the system's been taking burglaries. No wonder we have a problem."
Col. Garrett says Michael Arnold is a prime example of this problem. Investigators believe Arnold dragged a woman nearly 100 yards after he stole her purse near Rhodes College. He later carjacked a good samaritan.
"This guy had prior arrests...25 prior arrests before he started doing all of this stuff. He's a dangerous guy," said Garrett.

Garrett says there are ways to protect yourself, and he strongly recommends residents install alarm systems. 

"When I was in charge of the burglary bureau, folks would tell me, 'if they've got a sign, we just go to the next house that doesn't have a sign," he said.

Garrett says dogs are a deterrent, too.

He also reminded the neighbors to use their eyes. He says most robbery victims only remember seeing the barrel of a gun and can rarely identify their assailant.

Members of the Vollintine-Evergreen Community Association say they will be on guard all the time, doing their best to take back their neighborhood.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.     

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