Police Confiscate Guns in Crackdown on Las Vegas Strip Violence

Posted on: October 21, 2020, 12:50h. 

Last updated on: October 21, 2020, 01:56h.

Police are seizing guns and arresting dozens of people while attempting to stem violent crime on the Las Vegas Strip. Last Friday and Saturday, authorities confiscated 10 illegal firearms and seized nearly $30,000 in cash during the effort, according to KLAS-TV.

Miracle Mile Shops
Onlookers stand behind yellow police tape at a recent crime scene near the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Police have stepped up their patrols to stem violence on the Strip. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Authorities also made 110 arrests last weekend as part of the crackdown. Of that total, 38 were felony arrests. Police made nearly 600 “proactive stops” during this period. Most were pedestrian stops.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Nevada Highway Patrol are working together in what police call Operation Persistent Pressure to quell a surge in violence along the resort corridor.

The increase in violence has left several people wounded in gunfire at or near major resorts on the Strip.

Sheriff Joe Lombardo conceded this violence could hurt tourism if ignored. However, he stressed his department is devoting resources to stop the violence. The combined city-county police department, known locally as Metro, has especially beefed up its patrols on Friday and Saturday nights. Lombardo called these late weekend nights the “bewitching hours.”

The Highway Patrol has joined the effort by focusing on traffic stops. This frees up Metro officers to walk their beats and interact with the public, officials said.

Trooper Jason Buratczuk told KSNV-TV the Highway Patrol during this period has confiscated guns, narcotics, and stolen vehicles.

Crime Caught on Camera

As recently as Saturday, a Las Vegas man videotaped a group of men and women fighting on a pedestrian bridge near the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino on the Strip. The Las Vegas Review-Journal posted the video on its website.

This fight is the second violent incident caught on tape in October near Planet Hollywood.

On Oct. 11, an eyewitness recorded a man shooting another man in the leg, possibly during a drug transaction, near the Miracle Mile Shops, according to police. The shops are attached to Planet Hollywood. The video was posted on the KSNV-TV website.

In a separate incident on Monday, four people were arrested in an altercation on the Strip near Planet Hollywood, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. One man fired a gun during the incident. No one was injured.

Casinos Ramp Up Security

A police captain recently told county officials “a good portion” of the violence is from out-of-state gangs and visitors.

We are noticing an increase in gang members from other states,” Capt. Dori Koren said at a recent County Commission meeting. “We’re noticing an increase in robberies, stabbings, shootings that are happening from individuals from out of state.”

Lombardo, the elected sheriff who oversees the police department, has said drug and alcohol usage might be a factor in fueling the increase in crime.

As local authorities step up their presence on the Strip, some hotel-casinos have implemented their own in-house security measures.

The Cosmopolitan hotel-casino on the Strip is limiting access to the property on weekends to those with room or restaurant reservations. Rewards members also will be allowed in. Guards have been scanning guests with metal detectors and checking bags.

Guards at the Encore and Wynn Las Vegas on the Strip also are scanning guests with metal detectors and checking handheld bags. A fight in early September at the Encore resulted in an estimated $15,000 damage at the property. A company spokesperson said Wynn Resorts would raise room rates and beef up its security efforts.