Hispanics target of robberies - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Hispanics target of robberies in Charlotte neighborhood

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Violent crimes are increasing in some Charlotte Hispanic neighborhoods.

"Clients are coming here and talking about how they get robbed and getting into their house," said Joanna Rivera with the Latin American Coalition.

According to police, the area around the Southgate Apartments in Southwest Charlotte is a hot spot for violent crimes like muggings and home invasions.

"This is Scaleybark which is a cut through between South Boulevard and Park Road," said a spokesperson with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. 

"It's heavily populated with different apartment complexes."

Rivera says her clients report crimes to her on a weekly basis.

"They feel that they're being watched because it happens when they're getting into their house," said Rivera.

But this often tight-knit, tight lipped group is a little leery of reporting the crimes to law enforcement.

"They say sometimes there is a language barrier or they simply don't trust the police," said Rivera.

Police say besides establishing trust it can be challenging to reach out to the Latino community.

"The biggest issue is that this particular community is very transient."

"They are leaving for better jobs or going back to where they came from."

But police have stepped up their Latino outreach efforts.

They have hired translators and more bilingual officers to work on the trust issue.

"We are getting the information out to folks so that they learn on how to prepare themselves and better handle things and they are calling."

Police and the Latin American organization say it's always best to call police if you want the crimes solved.

Police also say it is a misconception that undocumented victims will be deported. 

Police told WBTV News it is not their policy to contact INS or ICE when it comes to a undocumented victim of a crime.

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