Residents say drugs, prostitution running rampant in south St. L - KMOV.com

Residents say drugs, prostitution running rampant in south St. Louis neighborhood

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Some Dutchtown residents said a hot spot for criminal activity is at an apartment complex on Bingham Avenue. Some Dutchtown residents said a hot spot for criminal activity is at an apartment complex on Bingham Avenue.

SOUTH ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Concerns over a drug and prostitution problem in one south St. Louis community has some residents on edge, calling for an end to the crime.

"I can't let my son play outside at all," said resident Rosa Abeyta. "There are needles in the grass...and we have children out here."

Residents said a hot spot for criminal activity is at an apartment complex on Bingham Avenue in Dutchtown.

Stacie Beckham, the property manager, said  she's working hard to fix the issue but needs help from law enforcement.

"When I call police, they act like I am bothering them," said Beckham. "It's really frustrating. I can't enforce any of the rules without their help."

Beckham said the complex administers criminal background checks on all tenants, but often times the people who live on the property are not causing the problems.

"A lot of times, it is their company, their best friends, cousins, a family member," said Beckham.

Alderman Shane Cohn said he is also aware of what is happening at the apartment complex.

"I  get a lot of calls, particularly about drug dealing and prostitution," said Cohn. "The police have actually been exceptionally responsive to those calls for service."

Authorities said they have been in contact with the property manager, and have also warned suspected trespassers of the possibility of arrest. However, some tenants said more measures need to be taken in order to reduce the crime.

"We all all need to come together and figure out a game plan to make this place safe for the people that have been here for years and the future of people that want to live here," said Beckham.

Cohn said next week he plans to meet with the owner of the building to work on a resolution.

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