Lights & Sirens

Go behind the yellow tape with The News Tribune

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Category: Crime cleanup


Volunteers needed to cover unsightly graffiti

Safe Streets is organizing a countywide graffiti cover-up and needs more hands on deck.

Operation Graffiti Cover-Up is planned for May 3. Teams of volunteers will be painting over graffiti throughout Tacoma, unincorporated Pierce County and Lakewood. (The sites will be identified beforehand.)

Paint, brushes and a sack lunch will be provided to anyone that’s interested in joining the effort.

To register, contact Safe Streets at 253-272-6824 or e-mail by Monday, April 28.

On the day of the event, volunteers will meet at 11:30 a.m. at

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Graffiti clean-up party on the Eastside

Residents living on Tacoma’s Eastside have been complaining recently about an increase in graffiti.

Community mobilization specialist Darren Pen indicates the spraypaint is “popping up again within almost every block in Eastside neighborhood.”

In response, Safe Streets block groups and students are having a “Graffiti Cover Up” event Saturday from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Here are some of the photos that Darren sent along of the graffiti.


Kids ready to rid neighborhood of graffiti

Gault Middle School students will be out Saturday painting over graffiti that’s plagued buildngs in their neighborhood.

The paint over is part of the students’ GREAT project. Tacoma police officers are teaching Gang Resistance Education And Training to the city’s middle and elementary schools.

As part of the course, students pick a community project.

The Gault students plan to meet at 8 a.m. at the Tacoma police Sector 4 substation, then head into the neighborhood with their brushes and painting supplies.


TPD arrests 16 johns during Pac Ave sting

The Tacoma Police Department’s special investigations unit was out along Pacific Avenue on Tuesday doing an undercover sting.

They arrested 16 men on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute and loitoring for the purposes of prostitution, officer Chris Travis reported.

The men were booked into Pierce County Jail. Six of them were not U.S. citizens and had immigration holds placed on them. In addition, one man was also arrested on suspicion of drug possession and another for weapons violations, Travis said.

The undercover sting targeted Pacific Avenue between 72nd and 96th streets, Travis said.

The operation was

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61 arrested during drug and prostitution sting in Fife

Fife police, Puyallup Tribal police and Department of Corrections officers arrested 61 people during a recent drug and prostitution sting along Pacific Highway East and 20th Street East in Fife.

Fife PD launched the five-day emphasis after complaints from citizens, the department reported. They arrested people on suspicion of unlawful drug possession, prostitution, minors in possession and consuming alcohol, driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs, and several other criminal traffic violations.

In addition, officers served 11 felony and misdemeanor arrest warrants, the department reported.

During the emphasis, police dogs found methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana

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Hilltop activists have new target

You just don’t want to mess with the Hilltop anti-crime activists.

They’ve been organized for years and have a no-tolerance policy for crime and the problems it can bring to their neighborhood streets. Any they certainly have not become complacent over the years.

They continue to keep a watchful eye. They’ve now set their targets on a gas station at South 19th and MLK and have scheduled a picket for Friday evening.

Our columnist, Kathleen Merryman, wrote about the possible picket in today’s paper.


FWay sting nets 13 ‘johns’

Female police officers posing as prostitutes lured four men into arrest in Federal Way last week, the department reported.

The operation along Pacific Highway South lasted about four hours on Oct. 26.

Special agents from the Immigration Customs Enforcement Service also took part in the sting and took into custody five people allegedly in the United States illegally, according to a news release issued Tuesday by Federal Way police.

It was the second big prostitution sting in the South Sound area recently. Stacey blogged about the other one here.


Raid on Winthrop nets arrests; kudos abound

TPD Lt. Corey Darlington, Sector 1 commander, sent out an e-mail Tuesday afternoon to Chief Don Ramsdell and other city bigwigs with details about a raid officers conducted at the Winthrop Hotel in downtown Tacoma.

Officers served search warrants on two apartments about 8 a.m. and made numerous arrests, including “several drug dealers, users and a sex offender staying at one of the apartments with several young women,” according to Darlington’s e-mail, which was obtained by Lights & Sirens.

Darlington handed out compliments to the Special Investigations Unit in general and officer Chris Martin in particular. It was

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