Armed robberies up 75% in trendy Melrose District; business owners call for action
LOS ANGELES - Crime along the world-famous Melrose Avenue is on the rise and so is the anxiety as shoppers and business owners fear the worst.
New numbers from LAPD show that in the last year the Wilshire and nearby Hollywood divisions have seen about a 75% jump in robberies with guns.
"It’s never been this bad ever. We’ve been on Melrose for about 30 years. This change has been really violent and sporadic," said Krystal Thomas who owns Cosmo & Donato.
The recent crime surge is taking a toll on businesses.
"A lot of customers aren’t coming out as often,’ said another business owner.
Violent crime is up across the nation and the Melrose area is outpacing other parts of the city.
The murder of Jayren Bradford over a shoe raffle last month was the turning point… sparking outrage and calls for action.
RELATED: 16-year-old arrested in fatal shooting of employee over shoe raffle dispute
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The LAPD has ramped up patrols. Police can be seen throughout the area on bikes, horses and cars.
But one store clerk told FOX 11 that he still feels so unsafe that he wears a bullet proof vest to work.
Some businesses along the strip are now calling on the city to install festive year-around lights similar to those on Rodeo Drive… hoping a brighter Melrose will draw shoppers back.
"Just adding lights will make people feel more safe, more noticed, that they don’t feel like they are walking in the dark with their stuff," stated Jimmy Trinidad of Dr. Eye Phone.
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