LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas police are taking a no-nonsense approach to combat a series of bad behaviors caught on camera on the Strip which has resulted in an "unprecedented" number of illegal weapons being recovered.
The operation, which started at the beginning of May, will last for at least 60 days.
It comes after last summer's successful crackdown dubbed "Operation Persistent Pressure."
“I know 2020 has been one of the most unique years we ever had, but unfortunately 2021 has also proven to be quite unique with a lot of challenges," explained Capt. Dori Koren with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Convention Center Area Command.
Capt. Koren has posted some of the recent bad behavior on Twitter.
He says the posts are to highlight not only the nuisance crime but to show what police are actually doing about it.
“Everyone knows, it’s a top priority to keep the Las Vegas Strip very safe, in all regards, not just a violent crime we’re dealing with but also in terms of traffic safety," explained Koren.
On May 2, Capt. Koren posted video of vehicles doing burnouts amid a very congested Las Vegas Boulevard.
The same video shows the vehicles and the drivers being contacted by officers and then tow trucks removing the offending cars.
A few more people decided to test the boundaries on the #LasVegasStrip & do some burnouts. It didn't work out too well for them or their nice rides. Three sets of handcuffs & three tow trucks coming right up! 🏎💨🚓 @LVMPDCCAC #KeepingVegasSafe #Traffic #ThePoliceAreEverywhere pic.twitter.com/DwuSMg8162— Captain Dori Koren (@dorikoren) May 3, 2021
“Once we started noticing there was a slight uptick in vehicles being a little reckless and doing burnouts or donuts, particularly on [Las Vegas Boulevard], we immediately increased our enforcement efforts," said Koren.
"And that was the message I was trying to send on social media," he explained. "We’re showing some of the bad activity [and we] are also showing our response to it."
Koren points out the public safety cameras the department has, which are monitored inside their Fusion Watch Center, have provided an invaluable tool to catch and record crime, and for officers to respond to in real-time.
“People will be held accountable," said Koren. "If you do those kinds of things as those people [caught on camera] did, you will be stopped."
"You’ll be cited and in some cases, your vehicle will be towed," warned Koren. "And in some cases, you might even be arrested for those offenses."
Koren says key crimes the department watches for carefully, such as robberies, sexual assaults, and property crimes are all down compared to the same time last year.
However, he notes there is a disturbing increase in aggravated assaults, such as shootings, stabbings and brutal fights.
It's something, he says, officers are intently focused on reducing on the Strip.
Illegal firearms are also another area that Koren feels is alarming.
READ THE TWEETS | CAPT. KOREN ON GUNS:
- Illegal gun recovered on the Strip during first weekend of new police operation
- Gold-plated AK-47 found
- 15-year-old found with loaded illegal gun on the Strip
- Ex-felon for murder in California found with gun
- Juvenile with past prior offenses for robbery, home invasion found with gun Strip
“Just the amount of illegal firearms that we’re seeing, we are seeing an unprecedented number of illegal firearms in our community and across the country right now but we have been very effective lately and addressing that.”
In this Twitter video posted on Friday, Capt. Koren said the number of illegal items recovered was unbelievable.
“A lot of the illegal firearm activity that we are seeing, I would say almost half, about 48% we’re noticing, it’s coming from out of state," said Koren.
Koren says there will be a noticeable and sizable police presence on the Las Vegas Strip as the summer months give way to more reopening of Las Vegas after the prolonged shutdowns.