Safety Meeting addresses concerns about armed robberies in Tremont
by Chuck Hoven

(Plain Press, November 2007) About 80 people attended a discussion on Crime Prevention in Tremont on Thursday, October 25th at Zion Church on W. 14th. The meeting, organized largely by email, was called in response to three armed robberies in Tremont, news reports of one of the robberies, and emails being circulated telling people not to dine in Tremont because it is unsafe.

Second District Commander Keith Sulzer said four juveniles and two adult suspects have been arrested. He said he believes the suspects are linked to up to three armed robberies in Tremont – all with a sawed-off shotgun. Sulzer says the suspects may have been involved in 9 to 12 other armed robberies, including one on Storer Avenue.

Three members of a bridal party robbed of cash and cell phones after leaving a Tremont restaurant on Saturday October 20th were the latest victims of the robbery. Sulzer says Second District Vice Detective Sergeant Tommy Shoulders helped them to trace and retrieve the cell phone. That led to the arrest of the four juveniles and two adult suspects. A stolen van used in the robberies was recovered. Detectives searched the area and found the sawed off shotgun under a porch. Sulzer said one of the stolen cell phones also contained a picture of one of the suspects holding the sawed-off shotgun.

Commander Sulzer said Second District Community Based Prosecutor Colleen Reali, whom he referred to as a “Shark in Court”, will be handling the armed robbery cases. Sulzer says the description of suspects in a previous robbery reported at W. 10th and Kenilworth matched the suspects picked up in this robbery. Sulzer says he tracked down another victim, also robbed in Tremont by an assailant with a shotgun, by following a description of a crime that was circulating via email in Tremont. but was not available at the Second District because the victim had not made a police report. Sulzer says his detectives are trying to build a case for 9 to 12 robberies that these suspects may have been involved in. He says each robbery can bring 8-10 more years to sentences.

Sulzer says the suspects were apprehended in the Sixth Police District near the city’s border with East Cleveland. He says the suspects told police they targeted Tremont because there is money there and easy freeway access. The victims of crimes were middle-aged  and the crimes occurred between 10 p.m. and midnight.

Addressing the concerns about safety in Tremont, Commander Sulzer said the neighborhood had the fewest crime reports of any neighborhood in the Second District and the second fewest in the City of Cleveland next to the Kamms Corners neighborhood. Sulzer says a zone car tours the neighborhood when not on assignment. He said a special unit is assigned to tour the entertainment district on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Residents interested in learning more about safety issues in Tremont were urged to attend the Tremont Safety Committee meeting held the second Monday (November 12th) of each month at 6 p.m. at Visible Voice Books, 1023 Kenilworth Avenue. For more information about the Safety Committee contact the committee chair, Phil Pavarini, Jr., at phil@clevelandservice.com. For information and updates on court watch dates for the suspects, residents were urged to check the yahoo group called Tremont Leaders. Residents can also call Tremont West Development Corporation at 575-0920 for information and updates.

 

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