The Investigators

Jul 3, 2013 1:42 PM by Paul Birmingham

Drugs, gangs, violence plague Tucson's crime hot spots

TUCSON - You may notice travelling around town that you frequently see police working calls in the same spots.

These are locations with the highest numbers of calls for service. The News 4 Tucson Investigators took a look to find the busiest crime hotspots, so you can be on alert, and stay safe.

The numbers tell the story: Tucson Police being called out 30, 40, or even more times per month.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators wanted to find out what makes these crime hotspots such a hotbed for police response.

One location, Retro City apartments, near Grant and Alvernon. The management recently changed the name of the apartments to Catalina Towers. It's one change among many that they hope will help the apartments shake a bad reputation.

"We've been trying to evict troublesome residents. We've also been trying to clean up the place," says Community Manager, Marie Barajas.

The management has hired security, and also installed new doors, and taken other steps in an effort to make residents feel safer.

"You know, our residents deserve a nice place here, and you know, unfortunately, things were going on the wrong track and we're trying to rectify that," Barajas says.

Another place police are all too familiar with: the Ronstadt Transit Center downtown. The News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned this is one of the top places in the city for police response.

"I see a lot of gangs, and violence, you know police officers," says SunTran rider Christina Laubly.

While riders tell the News 4 Tucson Investigators they feel safe overall at the Ronstadt Center, they don't take their safety for granted.

"I'm on alert, I'm looking behind me, to the sides, I'm aware of my surroundings," says Laubly.

Another rider, Hannah Parkhurst says "I've seen a couple of drug deals go down, I've seen fights break out, I've seen people crying, but just general stuff like that."

Tucson Police patrolling the center help riders feel secure during the day, but, it's a much different story after the sun goes down.

"At night it's a little bit more stressful, because, just there's that whole, you know, everyone's kind of scared of things that are creeping around the corner. And, at night, things do kind of spook me out a little bit more," Parkhurst says.

Another location that police respond to dozens of times each month is the Walmart on East Tucson Marketplace Blvd. near Park and 36th Street.

The company has yet to respond to our request for comment about security at the location.

There is a way you can track crimes as they happen in your neighborhood. This online interactive map shows the date, time, location, and type of crime.

Tucson Police say most of the crimes at the Walmart at Tucson Marketplace are shoplifting calls. And officers respond to mostly low-level, non-violent crimes at the Ronstadt Transit Center.

Other locations where Tucson Police frequently respond:

• Catalina Mission Apartments - 4880 E. 29th St.
• Circle K - 3301 S. 6th Ave.
• Walmart - 7150 E. Speedway Blvd.

If you have something you'd like us to investigate - email us at


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