Nearly 10 percent of gang members targeted in a two-day Sacramento law enforcement sweep this week were juveniles, a sign that the region’s gang population is growing and getting younger, says the Sacramento Bee. Officers made 113 arrests during the crackdown Monday and Tuesday, a sharp increase from the number of arrests made in a similar operation in October. They also seized 21 guns, $15,000 in cash, a pipe bomb and three bulletproof vests.
“This was a younger crowd who we were hitting before they got involved in summer gang activities,” Deputy Police Chief Rick Braziel said. “If you’re thinking about going out and gangbanging this summer, we’ll be there.” An estimated 500 gang members — all of them on parole, probation or who had outstanding arrest warrants — were visited during this week’s operation. The list of suspected gang members included 45 who were under age 18, authorities said. Authorities have blamed an increase in gang activity for a spike in violent crime in the region. Of the 3,000 juveniles on probation in Sacramento County, between 1,300 and 1,400 identify themselves as gang associates.