Gang Activity in Menifee Hills

An anonymous commenter wrote a response to one of Eric's previous posts, concerning what he/she perceives as increased gang activity in Menifee Hills, along La Ladera Road.

I'm posting it here as a new article because it deserves separate discussion...

Hello fellow Menifee residents:

I am extremely concerned with alot of bad activity occurring in the La Ladera residential area. I have been noticing an increase in off road vehicles, dirt bikes, mini bikes, lifted golf carts, dune buggy's etc. in the area. Mainly around the residential tracks and the La Ladera race strip that runs in between them.

This occurs on a regular basis. These off road vehicles are zipping up and down the 25 MPH zones, where our children play, couples are walking and vehicles travel in and out of driveways. These vehicles are exceeding the speeed limit, exceeding the maximum paasnger occupancy on the off road vehicle and usually has a drunk behind the wheel. I've seen guys drinking in golf carts, doing donuts, speeding and driving through home front lawns.

I have also noticed an increase in graffitti, gang activity and some really strange kids in the area. Itis a mix of gang banger types and punk rocker types. I watched a gathering of approximatley 10-20 thugs at the La Ladera Park after 10 p.m. wearing bandannas, baggy pants, sunglasses at night and low rider cars. I have also watched kids walking with mohawks, shaved heads, military boots, tight pants with jackets that have metal spikes on them. These kids were hitting mail boxes in the area with sticks and shouting profanity and anti-government slander as they did it.

What the heck is happening to our neighborhood? What have we created or allowed to polute our nice family oriented small town? I have peronnaly encountered several near accidents involving small children and vehicles with these off road vehicles. We as a community need to work together and not be afraid of these things. CALL THE POLICE when you see this happening! This is uncalled for and not nessasary. It is making our property value go down and endangering the life of our families and property. Stand Up and take action as a community! Who wants to be the one who has a child get hit by a dirt bike or golf cart? Or the one, who's house got tagged? Or the one who's vehicle gets stolen? Lets get this trouble out of here!

Thanks.
In my response to this person, I've seen the people described above. I don't think there is anything that we've done as a community to invite gangs. I think gangs are always looking for new places to call home, and the Menifee Hills community is a new community, having begun construction only five years ago.

I recall reading about new gangs moving into Menifee in the newspaper, but in the older communities. Now that Menifee Hills is pretty well established, it's perhaps no surprise we're now seeing them here.

Moreover, just because people have mohawks and wear bandanas doesn't mean they're gang members. Most of these people are just youths looking for an identity. Teenage-troublemakers have been around for as long as there have been teenagers.

As a solution, I propose homeowners in Menifee Hills (of which I am one), spend more time outdoors, in the community, making yourselves known. What troublemakers do not like, are lots of people watching them. Take your dog for a walk every day, or ride your bicycle around the neighborhood, take your kids to La Ladera Park, or just sit on the front porch and relax. The more people we have outdoors in the neighborhood, the less gang activity we're going to have.

I do agree that we should call the Sheriff's office to report all such illegal behavior, even though we know they're not going to respond. The Sheriff needs to see the calls in order to know that he can't ignore this community.




35 Comments:

  1. Most of what you say is right! Thats all fine and dandy regarding your thoughts on the community. I am a resident here to and feel that this problem needs to be more addressed by everyone. Not just community members-sheriff and us her ein the forum. As for your response about teens screaming for an identity, we all know that is why they dress and wear there hair that way. We have known that for years! However you missed two key points in the posting: #1: The ones refered to as gang members were the ones wearing baggy clothes, bandannas, shaved heads, low rider cars etc. I never refered to the kids with mohawks as gang members. #2: You missed the fact that the kids with the mohawks, shaved heads, and metal spikes on their jackets were the ones bashing mail boxes with sticks and yelling out ant-government slogans and profanity. Not to be rude, because we are all neighbors here, but we should not be blind here...Educate yourself and review California Law: A definition of a "Gang" Is two or more people involved in criminal activity that benifits the gang or its activities." Last time I checked, when thugs dress the same, act the same, are in a group of two or more, engaged in criminal activity: That constitutes a GANG by law. These little innocent juveniles you say are seeking an identity or screaming for attention can be classified as a GANG. Really, people are just fed up. Have you been outside latley, That graffitti in the park is being done by known gang members and those gang members are the ones hanging out in the park. Please, open your eyes.

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  2. I hear you! We're seeing the same stuff on the east side of 215 and we're all SICK OF IT! The Sheriff's department and PARENTS need to gain controll of these kids. My advice is to start a neighborhood watch program and, like you said, always let them know you're watching them. Call the Sheriff's every time you see these kids loitering in your parks and neighborhood.

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  3. So let me get this right, you want to call the cops because kids are in the park? So just where are the youth of Menifee supposed to go? I'm not seeing a lot of options open to them. With crackpots like the original poster leading the way I feel sorry for our youth.

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  4. CrackPot Person:

    You are clueless, yes, kids need places to go but we are not talking about kids here...these are grown men and at the least mabey 17 going on 18. Get a clue! People like you see full blown gang members hanging out in a park and say to yourself, "Oh those are just teenagers hanging out and need a place to play." But I realize it is people like you who are victimized everyday, because of complacency and unawre of your surrondings. You'll think twice when one of them is holding a semi-auto hand gun to your head, demanding the keys to your soccer-mom SUV becuae you thought they were just bored teens in Menifee with nothing else to do or nowhere else to go.

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  5. LMAO how do you make it through the day? If you are really that scared, I really feel sorry for you. Nobody is victimizing me I moved here from Chicago, not the O.C. I know gang problems when I see them. If anyone is being victimized it is you being afraid of everything, and evryone.

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  6. I agree, we definately have to come together as a community and participate more. We cannot just leave it to the Sheriff. In the community which I live in we have started a 'crime watch' and we definately have seen a decrease in the 'gang' recklessness. And it is true that the 'kids' who are out there causing problems are not children but older teens. Of course as the city grows perhaps there will be places for the "youth" of Menifee to go, but in the meantime I think it's the parents responsibilty to have their teenagers in check and to make sure that the they know where their "youth" is. Most of the time the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Part of the reason "youths" don't respect their community is because the parents don't have control and or respect for the community either. Perhaps if one is worried about where the "youth" can hang out, maybe it's time that the parents join the community and get involved. Just like we cannot leave crime/gang activity to the Police, we also cannot leave the responsibilty of the "youth" to the community. Get involved with your "youth"!

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  7. Clueless:

    You should really listen to that person. Or at least read the posting before jumping to conclusions. I feel he or she is commenting on what is activley happening in the specific community. I don't believe fear is the issue here with this person. I believe he/she has more of an opened mind and has made him or her self more aware of thier surrondings. As I would encourage everyone to do. People are not scared, they are just seeing it in the neighborhood and commenting on it. Nobody cares where you came from or where he/she came from, we all come from different backgrounds. Yes, Menifee is not Chicago, LA or Ney York when it comes to gangs, but all of those places gang problems, started out in some small shape or form. We all need to be more aware, open our eyes and mabey look at what this person is trying to say. It is evident that he/she has actually witnessed or experienced these problems in the neighborhood. I live on the other side of Menifee and our parks and schools are well maintained. We have security, the Sheriff and the police from the Junior College that patrol that entire area and there has been a big drop in crime and unwanted folks hanging out there. I wish the same for you folks in Menifee Hills.

    Take Care and God Bless.

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  8. Well, All I see when I hear him Is The old people when I was young. Him nor any older scene is ever going to get what is going on now. I do not doubt that he is scared. has anyone here Sean our crime recored???? It is minuscule nothing to really yell about, but we get all these O.C peeps that think we need all these police

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  9. Clueless:

    Apparently, you have some hidden skelotens in your closet. Especially when you say, "I remember the old people when I was young." You were probably in and out of trouble your self. And the comment about wanting police: You must have something to hide or I would'nt be suprised if your son or daughter is involved in illegal activity. Or maybe even has a mohawk or wears and bandanna and as a parent your too blind to see the signs or (Red Flags) that he/she is on the way down the wrong road. "Oh it's just a trend or fad!" Okay, well try looking a little deeper into the kids lifestyles these days. Absolute Cluelessness going on here. Mark my word: "Your blindness will make you a victim in the near future!"

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  10. As a younger member of the Menifee Community and also a relatively new member of the community I find this discussion very interesting. Menifee is a GROWING community, offering affordable housing, new shoppping centers, schools, etc. There has been a population burst over the past few years and it's no wonder that there is also increased "incidents" such as graffiti and vandalism. Parents are working and commuting (if they are like me, they commute 1 1/2 hours each way to work), schools close in the early afternoon, leaving kids with idle time on their hands.

    I agree with the poster that said that kids deserve to be outside, hanging out, playing at the park. That's why the parks are there in the first place. Also, just because someone is 17 or 18 doesn't automatically make them an adult. They are still kids looking for a place to go, something to do.

    Instead of residing to "call the police" whenever you see a "gang", how about working with the "powers that be" to put in a community race track for off-roading (ATVs, dirtbikes, lifted golf-carts). How about opening up more parks with activities such as basketball, softball, soccer, etc. and encouraging kids to get involved.

    It is the responsibility of the adult community members to lead the kids down the right path. That includes all of us. We need to proive places for them to go, things for them to do. And not just shut them out of our community parks because they dress alike, have mowhawks or tattoos. Whether they are 12 or 17 they are still KIDS.

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  11. For you to insinuate that persons with mohawks are headed down the wrong path shows what a judgemental person you are. I am a 32 year with 5 tattoos. I have a career in Human Resources, never been to jail, never done drugs, and never committed a crime.

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  12. I don't believe any of the people in this forum are speaking about the young people casually hanging out at the park. They are talking about the small minority that do make you think twice about walking your kids down the street or enjoying our community parks. I had a few incidents at our community pool where teenagers and some young adults were yelling obcenities toward a vehicle with other young people driving by slowly engaging them in a violent shouting match. I didn't feel safe and I don't want my children around that atmosphere. I think we can all agree we want to live in a safe environment? It doesn't matter where you all came from, we all live in this community and need to work together on solutions here!

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  13. Thank you very much last poster! I am not getting at kids with mohawks, bandannas or shaved heads. I'm just telling you what I see in the neighborhood. Folks, I have tattoos too. That's great that Mr. Clueless is a Human Resources Person. We are not talking about you sir, we are talking about what is happening. So instead of bickering amoungst each other why not have dicussions about what you are seeing, observing and experiencing problems with. mabey we all can help each other out. I just posted the initial posting about mohawks because that is exactly who I saw vandalizing mail boxes. So get real folks! This is reality and when its your mail box that is bashed, you'd be singing a different tune!

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  14. My comments were directed at the IGNORANT person that wrote "You were probably in and out of trouble your self. And the comment about wanting police: You must have something to hide or I would'nt be suprised if your son or daughter is involved in illegal activity. Or maybe even has a mohawk or wears and bandanna and as a parent your too blind to see the signs or (Red Flags) that he/she is on the way down the wrong road. "

    A Mohawk and bandanna are not RED FLAGS.

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  15. Sorry, but ask any expert that works with teens...

    Mohawks and bandanas are indeed red flags.

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  16. Yo.

    I've seen some of these people pass through BMMS before.

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  17. Finally, someone who is got a head on their shoulders!

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  18. Hey, why are you trying to be sarcastic? Or are you?

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  19. Not sarcastic, just happy to see someone feels the same way and see's it the same!

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  20. The Perris PD needs to get the hell out of Menifee. And when you all concerned victims go to church have them provide Auto Shop, Home Economics, Wood Shop and everything a teen needs while parents are working. The Church Leaders need to quit the surfing and parties and have the members offer education until the schools have $$$$ I am sick over all the greed and we wonder why the crime is ignored.
    Good luck!

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  21. I agree with the person who posted this comment:

    “Instead of residing to "call the police" whenever you see a "gang", how about working with the "powers that be" to put in a community race track for off-roading (ATVs, dirtbikes, lifted golf-carts). How about opening up more parks with activities such as basketball, softball, soccer, etc. and encouraging kids to get involved.”

    These kids have nothing to do and a lot of the parks out here are geared to younger kids. We need something out here to keep the teenagers occupied besides committing crimes, loitering, selling drugs or stealing cars. Their needs to be a youth center, movie theater, Skateboard Park, a place to go dirt bike riding, and etc...

    Even the police have stated to me that these crimes are going to continue to happen in Menifee because the kids (teens) are bored.
    If we want these crimes to stop and we want these kids to stop hanging out in the parks then this is what we need to do. I understand there is still going to be crime because every city has crime. However, if we can work together to deter some of the crime and loitering that would be great for our beautiful city.

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  22. Quit making excuses for teenaers. I am a teenager and I have plenty to do. These other teens you all speak about are up to know good, I should know, i go to Paloma High School with all of them and live in the same area. I am in sports, belong to a after school ROTC program and currently work as a police explorer in the Hemet area. There is plenty to do for us out there, so stop making excuses for these teens who have no one to hug them. They are trouble and until you get robbed by one of them or your stuff comes up missing from your house, you'll finally realize that there is a bad element developing in our own backyards.

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  23. To the teenager who posted the above statement: “Quit making excuses for teenagers”

    I think it’s great that you are involved in extracurricular activities and you help out in your community. I commend you for that!!

    I’m not making excuses for these kids or teenagers as you refer. Of course, you’re going to have good and bad apples. That is just reality. However, the police from our area are the ones telling me why these teenagers are doing these things. I would think the police would know the reasons because they are in contact with these kids on a daily or weekly basis.

    You state: “They are trouble and until you get robbed by one of them or your stuff comes up missing from your house, you'll finally realize that there is a bad element developing in our own backyards”.

    My truck was stolen out of my driveway. So I have every right to speak about this.

    Here are some statistics and facts for your review in regards to why teenagers do crime.

    Law Enforcement Report Finds:
    Inland Empire After-School Programs Leave Out
    High School Students during Prime Crime Hours

    Only 2% of Inland Empire High Schools Get Federal After-School Support; Two Inland Empire Programs Profiled

    Los Angeles – Due to insufficient funding, the Inland Empire is unable to meet the enormous demand for after-school programs for high school students, denying the county’s most at-risk teens the supervision and guidance proven to keep them away from crime, according to a groundbreaking study released today by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, an anti-crime organization of over 260 sheriffs, police chiefs, district attorneys and victims of violence.

    Citing new Inland Empire and statewide data, California’s Next After-School Challenge: Keeping High School Teens off the Street and on the Right Track finds that this problem has disastrous consequences for California’s youth, public safety and taxpayers.

    The report pulls together evidence that after-school programs cut teen crime, drug use and other risky teen behaviors and improve academic achievement. A previously unreported study of a San Francisco after-school program finds youths who did not attend the program were two to three times more likely to be arrested than participating teens.

    Currently there is a severe shortage of available programs because California’s sole dedicated high school after-school funding source only serves students at 2 percent of Inland Empire high schools
    The new report is the first report in the nation to address the after school needs of high school students and:

    • Provides evidence that California after-school programs for high school students reduce crime, drug use and other risky teen behavior and improve academic achievement;
    • Cites severe shortages in every California county; and
    • Profiles more than 35 after-school programs across the State.
    For more information, or to schedule an interview with a local law enforcement official, please contact: Robert Kaplan, 510-836-2050 x.305, rkaplan@calfightcrime.org.

    National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, After School Programs
    The After-School Hours Can Be Dangerous for Teens…
    During after-school hours, children and teens are more likely to become victims of violent crime than at other times. For teens ages 12 to 17, this risk peaks at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, the end of the school day.1
    Violence by teens peaks in the hours immediately after school. While crimes by adults peak at 11 o'clock at night, violent crimes by juveniles peak between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on school days. In fact, juveniles injure more victims in the hours around the close of school than any other time of the day.2
    Many teens get involved in dangerous and risky activities during the after-school hours. Millions of children and teens spend the hours after school unsupervised.3 Unfortunately, children and teens that are not supervised by adults or involved in structured activities after school are much more likely to:
    • use alcohol, drugs, and tobacco4,5,6,7,8
    • receive poor grades and skip or drop out of school9,10
    • engage in risky sexual activity11,12
    • get arrested,13 and
    • Carry and use weapons.14


    After-School Programs Make A Difference…
    After-school programs, whether run by schools, churches, or other community groups, provide positive environments and enriching activities that truly interest and benefit teens. For some teenagers, they can make the difference between failure and success as they get ready to enter the adult world.
    In after-school programs, teens can participate in a variety of interesting and challenging activities. Some programs give teens a chance to learn to play an instrument, learn a new sport, or join a theatre troupe. In others, teens learn to work with computers, get help with homework, or make a difference by volunteering in their communities. After-school programs give teens the opportunity to build on what they have learned during the regular school day, explore new interests, and develop relationships with caring adults.15
    • Quality after-school programs have been shown to:
    • Decrease juvenile crime;16,17,18
    • Decrease the likelihood that teens will be victims of violent crime;19
    • Decrease teen participation in risky behaviors, such as drug, alcohol, and tobacco use;20,21
    • Lead teens to develop new skills and interests;22
    • Improve teens' grades and academic achievement;23,24,25
    • Encourage teens to reach higher in planning their futures;26,27,28,29and
    • Increase teens' self-confidence and social skills.30
    Unfortunately, too few teens have access to quality after-school programs…
    Not enough after-school programs are available for teens. In one recent survey31:
    • More than half of the teens (52 percent) said they wished more after-school activities were available in their neighborhood or community.
    • Six in 10 teens (62 percent) that were currently unsupervised during the week said they would be likely to participate in after-school programs if they were available.
    • More than one-half of the teens (54 percent) said they would watch less television or play fewer video games if they had other things to do after school.

    Reference:

    National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center, After School Programs, (Dec, 2005), Retrivied August 24, 2006 from World Wide Web at http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/teens/after.asp


    Fight Crime Invest in Kids, Law Enforcement Report Finds: Inland Empire After-
    School Programs Leave out High School Students during Prime Crime Hours, Retrivied August 24, 2006 from World Wide Web at http://www.fightcrime.org/releases.php?id=75

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  24. First of all, I've lived here for a year and I've NEVER seen a "gangbanger" outside of Perris. Secondly, I grew up in Santa Ana in the 80's- You think we have gangbangers here-guess again. You obviously don't even know what a gang is! Where are these kids/young adults supposed to hang out? Not everyone can go to college-housing is extremely expensive in Southern California. But the answer is that we need a police state? Why not call in the National Guard? Pull your head out of the Mennifee sand and see what's going on all around the State-we are losing this State to Mexico-now that is something to get involved in!

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  25. "-we are losing this State to Mexico-now that is something to get involved in!

    Yeah! What do you think? This land belonged to Mexico or something? Heck, we stole it fair in square huh? Crazy people. Next thing you know Pechanga Indians will claim part of Temecula belongs to them!

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  26. To the person who lived in Santa Ana. Some of us are concerned about our children. And will do our very best to ensure that they are protected. With regards to Mexico taking over, perhaps you should continue your fight to "free California" and us concerned parents will fight for a safe neighborhood.

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  27. Labor Day Weekend in Menifee Hills:

    Noticed a large amount of police presence in the area this weekend. About 8-10 police cars and police motorcycles stopping off-road vehicles, golf carts and other trouble makers. That was nice too see mabey La Enforcement is reading this website and seeing that there is a problem. Great!

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  28. RE:

    we are losing this State to Mexico-now that is something to get involved in!

    Join the CCIR. Look it up!

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  29. This is no suprise as I have personally spoke with the law enforcement in our area and they do nothing about this as well as doing nothing about anything else vandals, car theft in the same area over and over again like it is a gamefor the criminals who know that the law enforcement just doesnt care!!! I have suffered loses more than once and given evidence including video and been answered with sorry but we cant do anything about this or we are just to understaffed, this is an outrage!

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  30. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for our youth to get into trouble. Again, we brought our kids out here--- now its our jobs to provide them with educational and exploratory opportunities. As far as the police are concerned---I have had two incidents involving them. One, the alarm went off in my house in Newport Hills II---took them 2 hours and 45 minutes to respond. Why do I even have an alarm--my house could have been cleaned out. Talk about an issue needed to be addressed. The other issue with the police. I had an accident in the Albertson's parking lot at 6:20 in the morning. Craving that Starbucks--it cost me $1600. A crazy older gentleman sideswiped my car and took off---I got the license plate number and called the police and was told it was not a priority. Not sure what is a priority for the police department. Well thank god my insurance company investigated it. I truly think my property tax of $6900 a year is being wasted if even a minute portion of it dispersed to the Sheriff's Department. They are worthless in my opinion. As a former resident of Temecula, any time I had an issue or concern, it was within 20 -- 30 minutes and they were there. You felt as if you were deemed worthy.. Well let's hope, really hope, Menifee becomes a city.....

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  31. We have started a neighborhood watch program near the high school with great success. The community does get involved and so does the sheriff dept. I encourage you to call the police and start one within your community. I cant hurt

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  32. I think that you are stereotyping these kids. Its not like there adults and are fully mature. just because they dress a certain way does not mean they act out. This what you wrote is a form of prejudice which is the first step on the pyramid of hate. why don't you talk to the kids instead of assuming they commited a crime. have a nice day. and love not hate. what if that was your child.

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  33. Hmm sounds like we have alot of bickering going on- let's get back to providing a safe neighborhood for kids. If you think it isn't a problem let me tell you what happened last night. My 24 year old son was walking to work at about 8 PM last night (please don't need any comments about why walking at 8 pm at night- we should be able to do this anytime) and he was robbed by 3 hispanic males ranging from 17-24 (again no one is stereotyping so please no discussion about this). Do you still think there is no problem? One of them had a knife and he was surrounded since they jumped out of the bushes. It was the street right before the one that La Ladera Park is on ( the one that goes to the elementary school ). I also drove by the park today at about 3 pm and there were a group of males easily over 18 all of them with the clothes and bandanas .They also stared at me like I was invading there space.I grew up in Tracy California where there was activity like this but much worse. I remember having to have about 5 friends to accompany you to class because gangs would pick on you if you only had 1 or 2. They would travel in gangs of 10 or more and harass people all the time- that is only if these gangs (cowards) seen you had 1 or 2. They wouldn't bother you unless they had an overwhelming odds-again cowards. I won't let this happen to my kids.If you care about the community and ensuring these people don't invade our community then please respond.If you have negative comments or criticisms please keep them to yourself only positive ones that will help. Thanks.

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  34. I have a friend who lives in Tierra Shores, and her son is in some gang that came from LA, called V7 or Varrio Seven, from what i hear their a nice bunch of guys*

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  35. I agree with the poster regarding the "punk kids" just because someone has a mohawk and wears tight pants and jackets with spikes doesnt makee them a gangmember or "bad" Yes, those few individuals were doing some bad things, but dont lump every punk rocker into the gangmember group. Ever since mrs. neighborhood watch with her arsenal of guns and camera moved in i've noticed an increase in vandalism. Maybe she needs to pay attention to her own son instead of getting in other peoples business. I personally have experienced her nosey ways. A while back I was outside with my then boyfriend standing by his car talking when neighborhood patrol woman and her white suv rolled up. The first thing she did was accuse us of being drunk ( mind you I was 24 and had i been drunk it was none of her business) after accusing us 5 times and telling us we cant drive, we finally convinced her we had not been drinking. After she proceeded to treat us like criminals she then preached to us about god. Hmm maybe she should take her own advice and not judge others. Anyways just my two cents.

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