Dozens arrested in crime sweep

By Charles Sercombe

Police put a tight squeeze on crime last week.

It started Wednesday afternoon when a squad of officers and detectives swept through the city streets to arrest those wanted on warrants and those committing crimes in the open.

In all, 26 people were arrested for a variety of offenses and even ticketed for code violations.

The crackdown continued on Friday.

No crime was too small in what cops called a “zero tolerance” approach. That meant anyone smoking pot or dealing it on the street was picked up. Anyone appearing drunk and disorderly was also grabbed.

There was even one guy wanted for failing to pay city income taxes, and a household of people on Lumpkin St. were kicked out of the house they were squatting in.

The biggest bust, as far as what kind of prison time could be handed down, was the arrest of three people for possessing a half kilo of cocaine. That bust was made on a tip. Officers scoped out the area of Dequindre and Caniff “and lo and behold, the car we were told about showed up,” said Sgt. Detective Dan Misiak.

Two Detroit men and a woman living in the Col. Hamtramck apartments, a public housing project, were arrested. Officers also searched the woman’s apartment, where they found more drugs.

According to public housing policy, the woman and her family will be kicked out of the projects.

Also seized was $1,600 in cash and a car. Misiak said a “large” amount of marijuana was also confiscated.

“Both days were productive,” he said.

Although there was some overtime involved, Misiak said not a nickel will come from the city’s general fund. Instead, he said, overtime will be paid through the Police Department’s drug forfeiture fund.

The crackdown was prompted by a series of complaints, from residents and City Councilmembers, about large gatherings of people on St. Aubin St. and Lumpkin, open drug activity, fights and ongoing home break-ins.

While the beat will eventually go on in the city’s trouble spots, at least (for now) a clear message has been sent out.

But no sooner had police cleaned up, or maybe put a temporary stop in one area, a new crime wave has erupted during the past week or so. Over 20 manhole covers have been stolen.

Misiak said it’s likely that they are being turned into local scrap yards for money. He said he will now go out to each scrap yard and poke around to see if the covers pop up.

If so, the scrap yards will be ticketed.

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