Chattanooga Police Report Spike in Robberies Targeting Latino Community in Highland Park
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “In the Latino community, there is often hesitation to reach out to law enforcement. There is even greater reticence to speak freely with us,” says Sergeant Jeremy Eames with the Chattanooga Police Department.
Chattanooga police is reaching out to the Latino community within the Highland Park neighborhood following a recent spike in robberies that police say are targeting them. Police say there were around 30 robberies in all of Chattanooga for January, but Highland Park saw the vast majority.
“Nineteen of those were Latino victims. Those 19 occurred in the Highland Park neighborhood here in Chattanooga,” says Eames.
Police say the robberies are following the same pattern. Victims are robbed at gunpoint, in their driveways, after sunset. There have been injuries.
“They’re being approached by these suspects on foot who produce guns and some have been injured. They are taking their property from them by force and they are fleeing the scene,” says Sergeant Kendon Massengale.
Officers say these criminals now have the undivided attention of the robbery division which solves the most cases in the police department. They have also increased patrols in these impacted areas.
“We just want to reiterate that we are here to help you. Our goal at this department is to keep every person and their families safe in the communities in which they live. And that absolutely extends to our Latino family as well,” says Eames.
There is a bi-lingual victim advocate at the police department who is taking calls. Her direct line (423) 643-5149.