With summer coming to an end, 170 picked up so far for curfew violations

Crime index down 6 percent

 
Summer's nearly over, and on Tuesday, Sept. 2, teenagers attending St. Paul Public Schools will return to class.
 
And with that, likely there will be fewer kids out past curfew, said Matt Toupal, the St. Paul Police Department's Eastern District senior commander.
 
On Saturday, Aug. 23 police broke up a big party of teens on the 700 block of Maryland Avenue, according to Toupal.
 
The result was a large group of kids dispersing and roaming through the nearby neighborhoods.
 
Toupal said kids from the party then ended up shoplifting chips and pop from the nearby CVS at Arcade Street and Maryland, around 11 p.m. 
 
Around the same time, police believe that kids from the party also "took it upon themselves to damage a car window and then move on their merry way," Toupal said.
 
Police caught a few of the teens via video cameras at CVS, and others were picked up for curfew violations and brought to 180 Degrees' curfew center at Johnson Parkway and East Seventh Street.
 
Toupal said police originally ended up at the party after investigating a separate call -- they'd received a report of shots fired on the 700 block of Hawthorne Ave. While they were out investigating that call, sometime between 10 and 11 p.m., they came across a group of juveniles who told police they'd come from the party.
 
Though they hadn't received complaints from neighbors about the party, police broke it up, thus causing the roughly 100 teens to disperse throughout the neighborhood.
 
Toupal said there were no indications that alcohol was present at the party, based on the police report.
 
High volume, high impact?
 
The incidents on Aug. 23 raised the total number of kids brought in for curfew violations to about 170 so far this year.
Toupal said the summer started out with a lot of curfew violations.
 
"Our numbers through June and July, they were up there, and then all the sudden they started going downward," he said.
And while it seems like a lot of resources were used to take 170 kids over to 180 Degrees, Toupal noted, he suspects it's one reason why crime reports are lower compared to last year.
 
The crime index for the district, he said, is down 6 percent from the summer of 2013.
 
Toupal said the department has been pushing for better dialogue with the surrounding community, which he suspects could have had a hand in lower crime stats. 
 
In Railroad Island, "Part 1 crimes," which include homicide, rape, robbery, theft, auto theft and burglaries, were down 38 percent.
 
In Payne Phalen, Part 1 crimes were down 13 percent.
 
But crime statistics are different than perceptions of crime, Toupal noted, and the summer hasn't been without its incidents. With a few shootings in broad daylight, a woman's body found in woods near an apartment building, and the beating near Checkerboard Pizza that came to light on Monday, Aug. 25, some East Side neighborhoods have seen significant crimes.
 
Nonetheless, there have been many positives so far this year, such as new businesses opening up, said Tim Herman, director of the East Side Area Business Association.
 
Contact Patrick Larkin at 651+-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ESRPatrickLark.
 
 
 
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