Ballpark residents concerned about recent crimes, police report decrease in violence

Jun 15, 2023, 7:39 AM | Updated: 8:47 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Criminals have been busy in the Ballpark neighborhood lately and residents are frustrated. In the last week graffiti showed up on an apartment complex, car windows have been shot out and an elderly man was assaulted while on his morning walk.

Resident EZ said he was concerned about the damage his car received while parked along West Temple overnight Monday.

“My girl was like, ‘the car was broken into,'” he said. “So I come outside and I see both of my windows just like broken. They just broke the windows and didn’t take anything.”

Police said the suspects used a pellet gun to shoot BBs through the cars’ windows. The incident caused more than $1,000 in damage to at least 10 cars.

Amy J. Hawkins with the Ballpark Community Council said it was concerning to know many residents would have to foot the bill to pay for the broken windows.

“If you are income-restricted, that’s going to be a real burden,” Hawkins said.

Last week, graffiti showed up on nearby apartments also along West Temple.

On Tuesday, police said a 25-year-old suspect assaulted a 79-year-old who refused to give him money. The attack happened near the Ballpark TRAX station. Police were able to locate the suspect later that day and arrest him.

“I’m really concerned about anybody who suffered physical harm,” Hawkins said. “Random acts of violence are really unusual.”

Violence the Salt Lake City Police Department has been keeping a very close eye on. They say since January, overall crime in the city has decreased by 18%.

“Even though the crime data shows that crime is down in the Ballpark neighborhood, we know that in talking with neighbors, they may have a different experience,” said Brent Weisberg, SLCPD communications director.

Weisberg said although District 5, which includes the Ballpark, Central City, East Liberty Park and Liberty Wells neighborhoods, has seen a 21% increase in certain thefts, there has been a decrease in other crimes.

“Violent crime is also down, and property crime is down in the Ballpark neighborhood, so that again is encouraging for us,” he said.

The department believes being visible in the area is key to keeping crime down. It is something resident Amy Hawkins has noticed.

“We have patrols in our neighborhoods regularly,” she said.

Hawkins is hopeful that communication between residents and police continues to improve.

“We need to do better at overcoming some of our barriers,” she said.

This story has been updated with additional statistics from the Salt Lake City Police Department

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Ballpark residents concerned about recent crimes, police report decrease in violence