Police to reallocate officers in response to robberies


Published: Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 7:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 8:02 p.m.

Gainesville police met Saturday to reallocate officers to different sections of the city after a series of recent robberies, with two robberies and an attempted robbery again occurring overnight Friday.

On Thursday night, police received reports of three robberies, one in which a 71-year-old man was attacked in his yard in the 1700 block of Northwest Eighth Avenue.

Another took place at an apartment complex off Southwest 20th Avenue and a third at a store in the 1700 block of Southwest 13th Street. In two of those cases, witnesses reported a gray or silver-colored sedan could be linked to the hold-ups.

Two of the Friday night robberies are believed to be drug-related, said police spokesman Lt. Keith Kameg. Police still were reviewing details of the third, which involved a woman at an apartment complex off of Southwest 27th Avenue.

But, regardless of the facts of these cases, Kameg said police are concerned about the rising robbery numbers, which now are 40 to 50 over the number of robberies reported by this same time last year.

Unlike robbery cases in the past where one arrest would clear a series of incidents, Kameg said more of the recent robberies seem to have been committed by multiple suspects.

Police have been making arrests, but more individuals turn up and commit more robberies, Kameg explained. When more arrests and convictions occur, police hope others planning to commit these crimes will get the message that they will face prison sentences.

Until then, Kameg said, police are asking residents to be vigilant and report any cases immediately.

And, Kameg said, people dealing drugs should know they could become targets. "You are going to get ripped off. We just don't know the date," he said.

The first robbery Friday occurred just before 10 p.m. at Gateway at Glades complex off of Southwest 39th Boulevard and involved in drug deal gone bad, Kameg said.

The next occurred at about 12:35 a.m. at the Hidden Village Apartments off of Southwest 27th Avenue, where a woman told police she was robbed at gunpoint after a man came up to her.

The third robbery, at Ventura Apartments on Southwest 20th Lane, also involved drugs at occurred at about 12:36 a.m., according to police.

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