Hilltop residents worry crime is making a comeback



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Posted on November 18, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 7:37 AM

TACOMA, Wash. -- In the eighties, the Hilltop neighborhood was notorious for crime. But in recent years, the public worked with police to turn things around. Now Tacoma's Hilltop residents say they are worried their neighborhood is moving in the wrong direction.

Lewis Rudd owns Ezell's Famous Chicken in the Hilltop neighborhood. He said they have had a problem with loitering recently.

"Just in the past three to four weeks we heard about activities," said Rudd. "To be proactive we hired security."

Rudd was among nearly 90 people who attended a community meeting Monday night to discuss recent crimes with Tacoma police.

Nikki Weatherhead addressed the crowd about what happened on November 5th. She said a group of teenagers attacked her friend, punching and stomping on him.

"I tried my best to pull people off my friend, and I couldn't do anything. I felt really helpless," she cried. "I don't want to live in a neighborhood where stuff like this goes unnoticed."

Police Chief Donald Ramsdell said the case was still under investigation. Detectives are also trying to find leads after a drive-by shooting last week injured two people.

"It is not a police problem. It is a community problem," said one attendee. "If we want to keep that momentum going, all of us have to get involved."

To make sure the slight uptick in crime does not turn into a bigger issue, residents were encouraged to report all illegal activity to police. 

The group, Hilltop Action Coalition, plans to hold another community meeting next month.