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Gangs move, change to stay ahead of police

Posted July 30, 2008

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— Identifying gang members has become more difficult as they change their signs and clothing to remain a step ahead of law enforcement and as they become more mobile, experts said Wednesday.

Two incidents in recent days, a melee at the Triangle Town Center mall and a shooting on the North Carolina State University campus, have turned a spotlight on gangs in Raleigh. Police Chief Harry Dolan said Monday that the city has a "significant" gang problem that requires a community-wide response.

According to a recent study, there are 13 recognized gangs in Wake County, with the Bloods being the most prominent. There are about 2,400 known gang members or associates in the county. Associates are members who might not live in the area but who have spent considerable time or have been arrested locally.

Shenekia Weeks, a member of the Wake County Gang Task Force, said local gangs are changing the way the look and where they live  a contrast to the stereotype of gangs carving out territories that they defend.

"Gang members do not want be detected. They want to continue their criminal enterprise, so they're going to move and try to be as fluid as they can be without being detected," Weeks said.

Most gangs are relatively new to the area, and their members are young, according to Weeks and Danya Perry, a gang expert with North Carolina Communities in Schools.

"We are starting to see the manifestation of the first generation of gangs rooted here in North Carolina," Perry said.

Shootings and fights like the two recent incidents are taking place in high-profile places because Wake County gangs don't have roots in specific neighborhoods, he said.

"The incident at the mall, that certainly was a warning flag for everybody that we need to be looking at this issue because it's spilling over," he said.

Communities need to offer more after-school activities and jobs for teens to begin fixing the problem, gang experts said.

"I think most gang experts will tell you that we're probably five years behind what's really going on," Perry said.


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  • bronzegoddess40 Jul 31, 2008

    nice new subdivisions in SE raleigh is like makeup on an ugly woman
    Bob Sidel

    LOL, Bob, Bob, Bob you have me cracking up here laughing. That is a good one. But until you have seen all parts of SE Raleigh well, just say what you want.

  • Bob Sidel Jul 31, 2008

    nice new subdivisions in SE raleigh is like makeup on an ugly woman

  • bronzegoddess40 Jul 31, 2008

    "I dont care what they do as long as they stay in SE raleigh with the rest of the hoodlums"

    Wow...didn't realize only "hoodlums" lived in SE Raleigh...smh at ignorance... uncalumni02 Hmmmmm....... How many gang related incidents are reported being perpetrated by residents of say, Governor's Club in Chapel Hill? Hmmmmmm..... Who is the most ignorant? Or is it just painful naivete?

    rabidpro= don't you be naive or ignorant. Believe you me, there are hoodlums everywhere just because they have not raised their ugly heads, they are there. Have you ever been to the complete area of Southeast Raleigh? If you did I think you would be pleasantly surprised that all of it is not slums or ghettos, with shiftless folks lying around all over the place. There are subdivisions in that are that are along the scale of a lot of places in North Raleigh, with hard working people that are educated and living a good life.

  • carolinagirl75 Jul 31, 2008

    as a wake county high school teacher, i would welcome more training and information on gang signs and colors. there's a little video we had to watch, but wake's whole attitude is well, we don't have that problem...so don't worry too much about it.

  • readme Jul 31, 2008

    I realize people from all walks of life become gangbangers. But that can't hide the fact that there is a real problem here with black culture that is overwhelmingly responsible for this. It's time to stop blasting people for pointing this out while blaming everyone but the criminals themselves. We should stiffen the penalties for these crimes to deter them, but the real solution has to come from within the black community. Everytime the goverment tries to solve this with socialist programs (see rlewis' posts), they make the problem worse. Until young black people wake up and decide it's cooler to read a book, go to school, and hold down a job than it is to knock someone up, commit crimes, and live off someone else's dime... then this problem will persist. Until they figure this out and better themselves, I support building bigger jails to hold them all.

  • ncwebguy Jul 31, 2008

    RPD/Wake County Sherrifs Dept.has gangs on the run, but the gangs can change course/colors/etc. easily via the web, cell phones, and text messages. "No Snitching" and intimidation/murder is how the gangs can maintain their lead, a tool the police don't have. Inter-department info sharing only goes so far.

    We have a gang problem because too many people are competing for too few resources. We have that problem because of overpopulation among the less educated. We have that problem because Republicans insist on abstinence-only education in schools and refusal to allow any government agencies to distrubte birth control inculding condoms.

    When will they admit their mistakes? Never. They continue to play "blame the victim" as they continue to keep information and condoms out of the hands that need them most.

    The ounce of prevention (education, birth control) was not given, so now we're paying for a pound of cure in the form of higher taxes to afford a police state.

  • mebgirl1984 Jul 31, 2008

    Fear not, your elite, travel-savvy Governor just signed a uselesss drought bill!! Talk about putting so much emphasis on uselessness when you weild the power to make real changes. Italy anyone?

  • wakemom Jul 31, 2008

    Bob Sidel
    do you know how much i paid for my house? if so, tell me.. also what is the size of my house, what type of car do i drive, where do my kids go to school, is my house dirty or clean, what eare the amenities in my subdivision?? since you know sooo much..

  • Dolphan Jul 31, 2008

    I don't buy that unplanned pregnancies are due to lack of education or funds. I think it goes along with one of the central problems of our society today...actions lacking consequences. Folks want things now w/o seeing (or caring about) long term consequences. A condom costs how much?? Please...

  • Bob Sidel Jul 31, 2008

    "i live in s.e. raleigh and have white people that live in my neighborhood. the houses arent run down and matter of fact, we all respect each other, have good jobs, and nice houses. guys we are hoodlums..."

    when the same houses are $100,000 cheaper it tends to attract a lower class of people and theres already reason enough as to why they are that cheap, bad schools, crime,....