AUSTIN, Texas - Car-club meet-ups have been a problem for residents in North Austin, but after an operation Saturday by Austin police, some residents say they are hopeful this will put an end to the violent gatherings that have been happening all summer.
Austin Police have been tracking dangerous and criminal activity all summer. APD made 10 arrests from June 1 to September 9, 2020. During those months, officers responded to 19 reports of shots fired, seized seven firearms, documented one auto theft, one robbery, and three instances of unlawful carry, among other crimes.
For residents who live nearby, they say they are fed up with the meet-ups. “It’s actually bothering me to sleep well,” said Ehayatullah Sharifi, who lives nearby.
He said the meet-ups happen almost daily, and not just on the weekends, which keep him and his family up at night. He says he can constantly hear the tires, fireworks, and the reversing of the cars in the parking lots.
Another community member, who wished to remain anonymous, said he’s noticed the action in the area for weeks. “It’s a mess,” he said.
Trash from a meetup over the weekend could be seen in the parking lot Sunday morning. Bottles, broken glass, trash, and broken poles and property damage remnant of the meet-up, as well as tire marks from the burnout that’s also been present all summer long.
Saturday APD along with other law enforcement agencies in the area conducted an operation in the parking lot, something they said they’ve been planning for weeks.
“I praise the authority for what they did,” the anonymous resident said. “I think it was necessary to put a stop to this.”
Austin Police say they're working on compiling arrest numbers and they'll send those out once they're finished.