Residents band together hoping to secure neighborhood caught in Midtown crime spree

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One week after a slew of armed robberies in Kansas City’s Midtown, a neighborhood came together to brainstorm ways to ramp up security on their streets.

More than 50 people packed a room at the Roanoke-Westport Community Center on Thursday night to discuss a violent armed robbery that happened last week near 36th Street and Belleview Avenue.

Police said four men held a family at gunpoint, forced them on the ground, robbed them, and then kicked one woman in the face. The crime spree continued in other parts of Midtown over the next 24 hours.

It’s a scary situation that sparked passionate discussions about crime prevention. The group talked about installing neighborhood-wide surveillance cameras, assigning volunteers to patrol the neighborhood at night, and hiring a private security company to patrol.

“It was an awful feeling,” said Kelly Thompson, president of the Roanoke Homes Association, of hearing about the armed robbery on his street. “Those types of crimes typically don’t happen in our neighborhood and to know that somebody that lives by us, a neighbor that that happened to, it was awful.”

“Crime is always on neighborhood’s mind and what we can do to further prevent it,” he continued, “but this just sort of sprung is into action right away on trying to get more ideas out there and trying to get more people involved in what we can do to further prevent crime.”

Jason Dalen, who also lives in the neighborhood, said he’s open to all the options discussed.

“We understand we do live in the city, which is one of the attractive features of the neighborhood,” he said, “but we all need to think about – how do we deter and prevent crime and what do we do to address it?”

The neighborhood plans to meet again in coming weeks to make decisions about how to move forward. Until then, police told the group that the best defense against crime is communication and looking out for each other.

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