LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Chinatown businesses and community members got the chance to meet with Las Vegas Metropolitan police officers to address public safety concerns and take suggestions for the booming tourism corridor, and discuss what else can be done to address the biggest crime issue: car break-ins.

FOX5 told you about the Inspiring Spring Mountain project and the effort to get input from businesses, tourists, visitors and locals on needed improvements for the area. Leaders tell FOX5 that public safety is one of the foremost issues, and hosted a pop-up tent for locals to connect with LVMPD officers.

“The top two concerns that a lot of the small business owners and residents brought up are parking and public safety,” said Minjia Yan with the Inspiring Spring Mountain project.

Car break-ins are down 47% in the area since the start of the year, according to Lt. Jesse Roybal. Earlier this year, LVMPD boosted patrols and visibility in the Spring Mountain corridor to crack down on criminals.

“Our detectives have been very fortunate to make quite a few number of arrests. And these criminals are people from local areas, and also from out of state,” Roybal said. “This is an extension of the Las Vegas Strip. We have people from not only all over the city, but all over the world that come down and visit this small stretch of roadway, and we want to make sure that they have a fun and safe experience while they’re down here,” he said.

Behind the Badge: LVMPD launches task force to curb crime in Chinatown

FOX5 checked in with the team of “Mike and Ike”– the SMART team now dedicated to Chinatown community outreach and connecting with local businesses.

“Before, people wouldn’t approach us. Now, people just walk up to us and aren’t afraid to talk to us. They give us more information,” said Officer Micah Belmores.

“That’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for their input, their connection, their communication with us,” said Officer Kirt “Ike” Vesperas. The team has been working to boost AAPI representation in the force and recruit members through meet-and-greets in Chinatown.

The team has handed out “Take, Lock, Hide” signs to numerous businesses across Chinatown to urge their customers to secure their belongings and their vehicles. The signs are also in Mandarin.

Colin Fukunaga with Fukuburger said signage has been crucial to guests taking action.

“We’ve done some actions ourselves, took some video surveillance pictures of actual crimes happening in our lot and we turned them into like a warning on the door outside, on the counter, on the cashiers, in various spots in the restaurant. It’s great to see our guests walking straight back out. They’re taking their valuables out of their car,” Fukunaga said.

“I feel like if a lot of other businesses take that approach, they’re going to see the results. We can’t just rely totally on Metro, we have to rely on each other to help prevent the crimes,” he said.

Businesses and property owners are already looking at preventative measures to deter or stop criminals from targeting the area.

“We had a meeting with property managers. We talked about how we need to upgrade the lightnings in their parking lot. How do we need to upgrade safety security cameras in their properties? How do we inform their tenants about the best practices small businesses can do to make sure that their customers and employees are safe? How do we reduce crime in the parking areas at night? We definitely would like to ask them to upgrade their security equipments in their properties,” Yan said.


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