Las Vegas cops blame spike in crime including 35% surge in aggravated assaults on hotels offering rates as low as $50 a night that are attracting out-of-towners during the pandemic
Las Vegas police have blamed the city's recent surge in violence on cheap hotel deals, claiming the low rates are attracting out-of-towners.
Las Vegas is currently experiencing an increase in violent crimes, particularly on the Strip, where hotel rates have plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Police said the famous three-mile corridor, which includes more than 20 resorts, has seen a surge in aggravated assaults including fights, stabbings and shootings since its reopening in June.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said the crime spike may be linked to lower hotel rates that are drawing visitors to the city who are unable to visit nightclubs and entertainment venues that remain closed.
'The type of customer that is showing up… they're more interested in creating chaos than entertaining themselves or engaging themselves,' he said in August.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police earlier this month revealed nearly 1,500 people were arrested in August and September in the city's Convention Center area alone, with 40 per cent of arrests being felonies and misdemeanors.
Police Captain Dori Koren said the crime wave comes amid an increase in 'gang members from other states' and incidents involving out-of-town individuals.
Over the weekend, the LVMPD made about 85 arrests and 700 stops which comes after it ramped up its police presence on the Strip last month, Fox5 reported.
Police said the crackdown has reduced aggravated assaults by 30 per cent, however, those crimes are still up by more than 35 per cent from the same time last year, according to KTNV.
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, average hotel room rates are only $10 lower compared to last year.
A KLAS report on Tuesday however revealed there are several hotels on the Strip that are offering rooms for less than $100 a night, including the Excalibur for $73 and The Stratosphere for $74.
Meanwhile, rates downtown are even cheaper, with some hotel rooms as low as $50.
In late September, authorities said thespike in violent crime around the city's marquee tourist area had led to at least 1,100 arrests since August 1 and the seizure of more than 60 weapons.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo blamed the surge of recent violence on out-of-town visitors.
'It's just a lot of people in a small condensed area and you infuse their desire to have a great time and infuse things like alcohol and drugs and it's a bad combination,' he said.
Lombardo's comments came hours after police said a woman sustained a minor leg wound after a shooting among a group of more than 80 people who gathered outside the Aria hotel and casino while rap music figure Moneybagg Yo celebrated his birthday.
Social media posts by the rapper, whose name is Demario DeWayne White Jr., said he was not the target of gunfire.
这位名叫小德马里奥·德韦恩·怀特(Demario DeWayne White Jr.)的说唱歌手在社交媒体上发帖称，他不是枪击的目标。
White was at the event when a fight broke out and more than one shot was fired, said police Captain Dori Koren, commander of the area covering the Strip. No immediate arrests were made.
Koren said the department has assigned more patrols and specialized units including officers with drug- and gun- sniffing dogs to the Strip to quell what he called an unprecedented problem in an area crucial to the economic livelihood of Las Vegas and the state.
Sixty-three illegal guns were seized in the area during a 30-day period that ended in mid September, Koren said.
The continued closure of arena shows and clubs and a change in customers from air travelers to drivers from nearby states left the region's nearly 124,000 hotel rooms just 42.5 per cent full in July, according to the regional tourism agency.
Overall visitor volume was down 61 per cent.
'Our challenge is in aggravated assaults - fights, stabbings, shootings. They are up,' the police captain told AP. He said reports of sexual assaults and robberies are down in recent months.
Koren also noted that security cameras cover nearly every inch of the Strip, which includes more than 20 resorts between the Sahara Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay.
More than 400 of the 1,100-plus arrests during between August and September have been on felony charges, he said.
'We're making sure that every person that commits these crimes is caught and held accountable,' Koren said, adding that arrestees have been from California, Florida and other states.