Gang Activity in Sedalia is Growing
A quiet neighborhood in Sedalia is alarmed by gang graffiti.
"I wasn't sure what it was at first," Sedalia resident Brenda Buckner says. "They had graffitied the night before, the basketball court. ... I saw the kids running when the officers showed up."
Buckner wants the graffiti, drug deals and break-ins to stop. But police say they need help to catch the Hispanic "Surenos Trece" or "South 13" gang.
"It's not a big problem right now, but we want to keep it suppressed before it becomes a big problem," Sedalia Police officer Larry Parham says.
The gang and it's symbols are better known in Texas and Mexico. But Sedalia's Hispanic population jumped by 5,000 people over the past five years. Now some of the new Hispanic teenagers started their own version of "South 13." Gang graffiti damaged a home in Sedalia and residents say they're worried acts like this will lead to bigger crimes.
"Now we start having burglary problems in local businesses and stores are starting to get broken into. Houses are getting broken into," Buckner says.
"I don't want our neighborhoods torn up or graffiti everywhere where it makes our neighborhood look bad. You know, where people wouldn't want to move here," Parham says.
So Sedalia police are holding meetings to tell residents how they can help their neighborhoods be quiet again. One of the biggest things police say you can do is call them if you see anything suspicious. You can reach Sedalia police at 660-826-8100.