Extra police patrols, technology after string of crimes near UNLV

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Business managers off Flamingo and University Center Drive, near UNLV, are reacting to increased police patrols after several recent crimes in the area including a stabbing spree.

Today Las Vegas Police arrested a man they say is connected to four stabbings of homeless people within a week. Police say Christopher Martell, is suspected of stabbing two people to death and stabbing two others injuring them.

“Our first incident occurred last Wednesday when a homeless female was found stabbed to death near the 1400 block of University Avenue, our second incident occurred just two days ago, when another homeless female was stabbed to death at the 1500 block of Flamingo,” Captain Dori Koren said.

Lieutenant Jason Johansson said the department immediately instituted their major case protocol.

Police said they installed police cameras and brought more officers on patrol after the first two stabbings. Then after last night’s stabbings, they were able to check video and track down the suspect

“Yesterday at approximately 5:50 p.m. officers from south central area command responded to a report of a stabbing that occurred on the 2700 block of East Flamingo as officers reported to that scene, the suspect description was given out, thankfully due to covert cameras that were in the area,” Lt. Johansson said.

Now a makeshift memorial stands for one of the stabbing victims, a 74-year-old woman. Police say she was killed near Flamingo and Algonquin.

Prior to the stabbing spree, Metro held a press conference about an officer involved shooting that occurred on September 10th near Flamingo and University Center Drive.

During that briefing, Assistant Sheriff John McGrath said, “this part of the valley is known as a hotspot for violent crime.”

In order to reduce violent crime in the area, Assistant Sheriff McGrath said they would increase patrol officers.

Business managers in the area have noticed more of a police presence.

“Especially on University Center it’s almost seems like very single time I drive down that road there’s like a police officer like you know doing their patrol, assistant manager Jaron said from TIABI Coffee & Waffle.

Christopher Wultch manages Kabob Korner off Flamingo and University Center Drive.

“Yeah I have, a lot more traffic stops, they come up in front of our business a lot lately- a lot more traffic stops,” Wultch said referring to more patrols.

Las Vegas Smoke Shop & Vape is located next door.

“Safety is your number one, we’re open late night until midnight so that can be a little scary especially in this environment and in this business but, just safety,” Christy Esparza said.

Both Esparza and Wultch said the homeless population is their biggest issue. There weekly stays in the area so new faces are seen often.

Both are grateful to se more police around.

“Safer, a little bit safer. You know the area is bad but with them being around and them coming to eat dinner here you know we feel pretty safe,” Wultch said.

As for the suspect connected to the stabbing spree, Martell faces two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

He was a no show in court today so his next appearance is Tuesday.

Police said they do not know a motive at this time.

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