Police crackdown on growing crime wave, with more to come

By Charles Sercombe

All of you street-partying, drug-dealing Hamtramck people, here’s a belated heads-up – just in case you haven’t already been arrested or heard of it yet:

Party’s over.

And for you dipwads who keep your property a mess, squat at a house that doesn’t belong to you, or – worse — subject your children to filthy living conditions … yeah, it’s over for you, too.

On Wednesday, police officers and detectives did what they do best: bust knuckleheads. Thirteen of them for various criminal activities and housing code violations.

In short, it’s been a crazy last two weeks.

But first things, first: On Wednesday, the Police Department assigned several officers and detectives to clean up several so-called “hotspots” in town after City Councilmembers complained about a serious spike in street crimes.

On Wednesday at about mid-afternoon, a squad of officers hit the area of St. Aubin and Lumpkin near Carpenter, staking it out and swooping in on suspected drug dealing activity.

It paid off.

“Ten minutes out of the gate, and we made busts,” said Detective Sgt. Dan Misiak. “We took a zero tolerance approach.”

The busts included five minors who were out on the street and not in school. They were taken into custody for violating the city’s curfew, and their parent, or parents, were also cited for failing in their parental responsibility.

It didn’t stop there.

A group of people living at12116 Lumpkin were found to be squatting and were thrown out. They had illegally tapped into the city’s water service, racking up a bill of $2,900.

Next up, a man on the 2000 block of Edwin St. was finally caught at home and arrested for income tax evasion. He will also likely face child neglect charges. This house stood out among an otherwise well-kept neighborhood. A front window appeared to be broken, and from the street, with the door open wide, a foul odor seeped out. The inside looked dank and dark.

Misiak said officers had previously attempted to arrest the man, but he had been “playing hide and seek.”

Two children at the house were placed in the care of their mother.

So why did the Police Department swing into action on Wednesday?

It all started with the most recent City Council meeting in which councilmembers vented and ranted about a noticeable uptick in muggings, break-ins, street gatherings of youths and subsequent brawls.

And we’re not talking about any garden variety of brawls: we’re talking over 50 young thugs throwing down, according to City Councilmember Catrina Stackpoole.

This story doesn’t start out pretty, but then again, how could it?

Yet, for those who have lived here and experienced the Hamtramck experience, it’s an all too familiar refrain: Where are the police?

That was the rant at last week’s council meeting.

It was actually Councilmember Cathie Gordon who revved up the discussion, saying that there is a rampant crime wave happening in the St. Aubin-Commor area.

Things are about to change, though.

Through the Weed and Seed program here in town, a citizens patrol is up and running. The Site Director, Barbara Stachowski, said the extra eyes and ears on the road should produce some dramatic results.

“You’ll see a big difference this summer,” she said.

9 Responses to Police crackdown on growing crime wave, with more to come

  1. Roger Lamm

    June 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Where are the police? apparently laid off so we can rack up extra overtime

  2. Robert Fulton

    June 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    It also doesn’t help when you have skilled people who try and get into the Hamtramck Police Reserves and they don’t even get a callback. I have watched this city go to crap over the last 14 years that I have lived here. I don’t even feel comfortable letting my kids play outside. You would think that they would want the extra help, especially being unpaid to do it!

  3. Steven Cherry

    June 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    How does anyone really know if there’s an “uptick” in crime? The HPD stopped providing citizen groups with crime statistics long ago.

    Years ago they eliminated the log book to avoid FOIA requests for it, and recently they decided to encrypt police radios.

    Who really knows what they’re doing? They don’t show up at our neighborhood meetings.

    Were they involved in the DPS police chase of an armed robbery suspect that tore through the north side this weekend? We listened to the Detroit police radios but there wasn’t a peep from HPD.

    The HPD don’t work for us, they work for themselves.

  4. Gregg Black

    June 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    They make a strong presence at Campau Tower. Stop by around 3am. Usually all of the available patrol cars are parked out front.

  5. Ivana Glock

    June 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    The HPD is probably eating en-masse at Maine Street, or Royal Kabob.

  6. Anonymous resident

    June 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Hamtramck is lying they marked 12116 as a condemed house purposely put out two elderly two small children and a mother. Goddamn liars i was there.

  7. Roger Lamm for Council

    June 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

    12116 on what street?

  8. lifelong resident

    June 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    its not the point of WHO got thrown out….. The point is ….. NO matter where you live you have to pay for utilities and TAXES too. just because the house is deemed abandoned or condemned doesn’t give you the right to move in. And the HPD didn’t do that to the “elderly and children” ……. YOU put them in that position when you decided to SQUAT!!!

  9. ftr

    June 8, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I know the man that got arrested on edwin street. He’s a good guy who would never subject his children to filthy living conditions. The children live with his ex-wife because he’s disabled. He has no help over there. I also have to take issue with your reporter claiming he will likely be charged with child neglect. That’s not going to happen. Maybe your people should get their facts straight before they make statements. Until they do this newspaper is destined to be a second class rag suitable as kindling for a barbecue grill only.

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