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Gang activity not decreasing in Texas communities
PORT ARTHUR-By: Leslie Rangel
The gang threat to Texas communities is not going away.
That's one of the findings of a Department of Public Safety yearly report on gangs.
Port Arthur Police say they expect more gang activity as we approach summer.
Investigators say the only way to battle gangs is for the community to act as an extra pair of eyes.
"You look at tags and you gotta figure out what your looking for, for example peek boys, directly north of us," Investigator Marcelo Molfino with Port Arthur Police says.
These investigators study gang activity.
They say in Port Arthur it's heavy along the East Side.
"You look at that, they're telling us PAPD and DEA are a federal task force or a federal agency has gotten one of their crew members," Molfino says.
The words written on this wall leave a message.
"It's not being unnoticed that we're putting some of the gang members in jail," Molfino says.
They say their success comes from interacting with the community.
This building shows heavy gang signs.
Investigator Ahmaal Bodden says it's concerning for officers to see all the gang activity especially with their on influence and recruitment efforts with children.
"We paint and tomorrow someone painted again," a mother says who has property covered in graffiti.
She says it gets costly trying to cover it up
"That's the graffiti they do, and I'm painting you know and I'm tired and tired of doing it and spending my money," she says.
It's not only the money, she also fears for her family.
"It's is scary, we don't know what to do about it," the mother said.
Police say for the community the answer is simple, see something, say something.
"We need their input and their being witnesses or being willing victims because in Texas if you don't have a victim, you don't have a crime."
Port Arthur police advise anyone who sees suspicious activity in their neighborhood to report it immediately, no matter how minor it may seem.
Two weeks ago, police say they helped send a Port Arthur gang leader to jail.