The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) is urging residents to stay away from the city’s northeast valley due to a spike in violent crime.
The warning, which was shared by the LVMPD Northeast Area Command Facebook account on Friday morning, asked residents not to congregate in the desert area at the intersection of Lake Mead Boulevard and Arnona Road.
“There has been an increase in violent occurrences at this location, particularly at night,” police wrote. “We have had reports of illegal shootings, robberies and other crimes.”
“Our station is aware of the attractiveness of this area and we will carry out additional patrols,” police added. “Protect yourself and find other places to hang out!”
In August, the area’s zip code had 72 crimes against people, according to police statistics via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The LVMPD classifies crimes against persons as homicide, sexual offenses and assault.
Most of these crimes in the region were assaults.
The increase in crime in the desert area was noticed by some locals, which made them nervous, FOX 5 reported.
“Really not sure. Especially in my area it’s not safe,” said Stephanie Ayala, a landlord who moved to the area two years ago but noticed it had become less safe since then.
Ayala also noted that she had her vehicle stolen during the night.
“Our truck was stolen not too long ago,” she said. “So it’s getting crazy in here.”
Another resident said that although she did not notice an increase in crime, her son heard gunshots in the area.
“My son said, ‘Mom, I don’t like it here anymore,'” resident Luz Lopez told the Review-Journal. “He heard gunshots, cars were going very fast and people in the desert were smoking marijuana.”
Other residents insist that nothing unusual happened in the area.
“This street here is really quiet,” said 84-year-old resident Robert Zinskey. “I love this street.”
Although some have not noticed an increase in crime, police are still urging caution due to what they say is an increase in illegal activity.
“Individuals go out there and they drink and shoot,” an LVMPD spokesperson told News 3 Las Vegas. “There were individuals who were up there and one of them was robbed by someone else at gunpoint. Unfortunately we don’t have cameras up there.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.