YUMA, Ariz. - The Yuma Police Department (YPD) reported 80 percent of crimes in the city, whether drug or theft-related, are tied to more than a dozen active gangs.
YPD took almost 300 reports of burglaries, assaults, and drug-related crimes in Yuma since September.
“It’s approximately 80 percent of the crimes that happen here in Yuma are gang-related in some way, shape, or form,” said Sergeant Lori Franklin, Yuma Police Department.
YPD said they are also behind the distribution of fentanyl. The cause of several fatal overdoses in Yuma County.
“It’s one of the main drugs that are now within Yuma, unfortunately. It’s a gang substance. It’s something that they deal with. It’s something that they sell, that they get their hands on," said Sgt. Franklin.
YPD said the situation will only get worse as winter visitors return.
“These residences are open all summer long. You’re in an RV park that may be monitored but not as closely, especially at nighttime. You have a lot of trailers that are there,” explained Sgt. Franklin.
YPD said gangs are also behind most city shootings.
“One gang retaliating against another gang,” said Sgt. Franklin.
Some affecting innocent people.
“A couple of years ago we had two young kids that were in the back seat of a car that wound up getting shot from the outside. One flew threw the trunk and went through the backseat and both kids got shot,” said Sgt. Franklin.