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85 are arrested in 3-day sweep

California Briefing / SANTA ANA

August 23, 2008|Tony Barboza

A three-day sweep of a violent neighborhood resulted in 85 arrests, mostly alleged gang members suspected of violating parole or possessing weapons and drugs, police said.

The operation started Tuesday with dozens of officers saturating a two-square-mile area southwest of the Civic Center, a show of force in response to a recent increase in violence in central Santa Ana neighborhoods. There had been three shootings in a 24-hour period last month and an increase in arrests of armed gang members in the area.

During the operation, police went door to door with church groups to urge residents on some of the most troubled streets to contact police to report crime, even anonymously.

"It's a sweep in the sense of arresting people, but it is also restoring trust and relationships that have been broken," said Mayor Miguel Pulido.

Patrols have returned to normal levels since the operation ended Friday, and officials said they hope the outreach efforts will be a long-term solution to curbing gang crimes.

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