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Coachella - Gangs Targeted


Last updated 2/26/2016 at 8:19am

Authorities blame six gangs for an increase in violent crime in the Coachella Valley and are seeking a court-ordered gang-free “safe zone”

There has been an increase in violence, including murders, home-invasion robberies and carjacking which has been blamed on the street gangs and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office will seek a gang injunction in court to prevent members from congregating in a so-called “safe zone.”

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin will file a civil lawsuit with Riverside County Superior Court in Indio on Friday, Feb. 26. The affected area would include the city of Coachella and part of the city of Indio.

More than 500 law enforcement officers served notices Thursday on members of Varrio Coachella Rifa, an “umbrella” gang description for about six predominant gangs in the Coachella area, John Hall, district attorney’s spokesman, wrote in an email. There are 121 identified members of Varrio Coachella Rifa.

“The best analogy to describe a gang injunction is that it is both a wedge and a broom,” Hestrin said in a news release. “It serves as a wedge by breaking the gang’s ability to run in a pack or congregate” publicly and rids the area of gang members.

The injunction includes a process for a named target to seek removal if no longer active and leading a crime-free life.

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