Tuesday, March 04, 2008
I guess it’s time to move when the police, after detectives staked out my neighborhood yesterday in unmarked cars for four hours, took a neighbor at gunpoint into custody when he tried to return home in his truck. He apparently had spotted the unmarked cars circling the wagons as he made a turn onto the street, because he threw his pickup into reverse and tried to flee. Within seconds, he was dragged from his truck and laid flat on the pavement, surrounded by cops pointing guns at him. For five more hours, Las Vegas Metro Police personnel, wearing yellow jackets marked “CSI” on the back in bold, black letters, searched the pickup and raided the two-story home. A few weeks ago, I thought it looked a bit odd when the same neighbor had installed a camera pointing at his driveway and street. I mean, who was he hoping to nab on surveillance video in a typically quiet neighborhood? A stray cat? The cops are keeping mum about the details of what exactly went down and the purpose of the search warrant, but it has something to do with the suspect’s recent three-month incarceration in county jail for impersonating Las Vegas police and allegedly stopping street prostitutes, then, once they were in the car, robbing them. Today, he’s back in jail. If that wasn’t enough for this once-quiet neighborhood, two weeks earlier and just two blocks away, a 24-year-old woman’s murdered body was discovered. The cause of death was strangulation. Her body was found inside a car in a garage by her mother-in-law. No suspects have been arrested. It’s been an otherwise safe neighborhood for the last 14 years, aside from a distraught man seven years ago who chose to kill himself, with a single bullet, while he was housesitting in the neighborhood. Lots of subdivisions in Las Vegas used to be similarly safe neighborhoods. But as the city has grown, so too has crime, bleeding into the ‘burbs and becoming increasingly violent. Yes, it’s time to move.