Crime up 33 percent in one year in area where stabbing homicide occurred

A Salt Lake Community says more needs to be done to keep their neighborhood safe after a man stabbed a woman to death and critically injured another man. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — A Salt Lake Community says more needs to be done to keep their neighborhood safe after a man stabbed a woman to death and critically injured another man.

“It’s horrible, and we have to watch our families,” said Ann Belgarian, a longtime resident of the city's Marmalade District, who lives right across the street from where the crime happened at 300 West and 500 North. “We knew something was going to go down eventually.”

That’s because the crime is believed to have been the result of an argument among a group of homeless people who set up camp right behind the Dollar Tree store in that area. The camp is next to the dumpster in the back of the business and residents say it's been there for months.

They also say these camps are only getting worse.

“More of a homeless population. They just kind of shifted over here,” said Belgarian. “A lot of poverty, a lot of homeless moving around because they have nowhere else to go.”

Conor Burgon, who bought a home just four months ago in the neighborhood, says he’s already had to call police two or three times because of problems.

“It’s just bad. I had some stuff stolen off my porch,” Burgon said.

Police told 2News they have no data about an increase in homeless camps or crime in the area.

“I don’t have any information whether there are homeless camps or not, so I can’t confirm or deny whether more numbers exist than they used to,” said Detective Michael Ruff with the Salt Lake City Police Department. “This was something that happened because they knew each other and not a random incident.”

2News did our own digging on crime statistics from the Salt Lake City Police Department's crime reports and found that in the past six months, at that Dollar Tree location, there have been reports of one murder, one assault, five property crimes and two disorderly conduct calls.

During that same period last year – zero.

Zoom out to a one-block area and it jumps to 33 SLCPD cases, compared to 22 cases in 2017 during the same six-month period. That’s a 33 percent increase.

Pan out even further, it goes from 276 cases in 2017 to 317 crimes in 2018.

2News mapped out the crime statistics. That map can be found here.

Ashley Anderson with the Capitol Hill Neighborhood Council says they are doing something about the concerns residents have about homeless camps in the neighborhood.

She says they are meeting with community members, police and city leaders to try and come up with solutions.

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