Cleveland Greenway area becoming hot spot for crime - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Cleveland Greenway area becoming hot spot for crime

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - Broken glass lies in the parking lot leading to Cleveland's Greenway, just a few feet away political signs have profanity spray painted across them. Across the street, multiple businesses and even a nearby school fell victim to the same crime over the weekend.

"Why would you do something, its stupid. You could find so many other things in Cleveland to do rather than walk around, defacing anything really," says Joseph Simpson at Ink Works, a tattoo shop who's sign was spray painted on.

However, this isn't the first time criminals have targeted what many consider to be the heart of Cleveland.

"This is an area of town where we have a lot of families, children, not the kind of thing we really like in these areas," Cleveland Police Detective Matt Jenkins says.

Earlier this summer vandals damaged a memorial bench on the Greenway more than once, investigators believe whoever did it are juveniles. Later a man was captured on camera breaking into Stuart Elementary in Early June, he has since been charged in the crime. The recent rash of vandalism and burglaries, has Jenkins working overtime. "As far as I know, my investigation leads me to believe at this point that they are absolutely connected. Its one in the same group of people," he says.

He says these crimes are likely motivated by money and drugs but this time around the criminals left their signature to follow. Police are offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest but tell Channel 3 they are narrowing in on a few suspects. Jenkins expects to make some arrests by the end of the week.

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