LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – For years, Las Vegas business owners say Chinatown has been plagued by crime and car break-ins.

“Crime’s always been pretty bad,” said Colin Fukunaga, owner of Fuku Burger. “The car break-ins, though, have been a big issue over the last, like, five years.”

“Like people are getting a massage or like getting repaired for 30 minutes, an hour, and then they came back to the parking lot, and their windows are broken,” said Rann Mojica, owner of Fonestar. “Sometimes, like Starbucks, if the line is too long, they park, come back, 10 or 15 minutes later, their windows are broken.”

“We have people that have come in just for takeout orders, just for a couple minutes, they go back outside, and their car’s already been broken into,” said Fukunaga. “You can tell all the tempered glass that’s all over the parking lots in Chinatown. They’re not glass bottles, they’re windows.”

Now, Metro police say help has arrived.

On February 17, they launched a new anti-crime team dedicated to the Chinatown area.

“We call it the Mike and Ike team, the task force,” said Fukunaga.

Two officers are working to identify the problems and find solutions to curb crime in Chinatown.

“And because this task force is still so new, right now, the officers are focused on building trust and relationships with the business owners. They’re going one-by-one, handing out their business cards to let them know that they’re around to help.”

Police say crime often goes unreported in the area, and that’s one thing the task force hopes to change.

“In Asian culture, a lot of times if you bring out that there’s a problem, then you might be the problem, or maybe it’s bad luck, or maybe it’s just not having a really trust base with your local police force,” said Fukunaga.

Working to build that trust through face-to-face interactions, the officers say their own backgrounds help them connect with the Chinatown crowd.

“Having that task force specifically for the Chinatown corridor with two Asian officers makes it a little bit easier, but I think it’s a first step in building that trust,” said Fukunaga.

“I feel a little better just because there’s always someone watching outside from now on,” said Mojica. “But who knows. It’s been going on for a while, so I don’t know if it’s going to be fixed, hopefully, and we’ll just be here to cooperate.”


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