Over the last three weeks, local police officers have responded to three armed robberies in downtown Salem.
Two of the armed robberies occurred in the same Norman Street plaza, first at 7-Eleven on Nov. 19; and then at Georgia's Pizza this past Sunday night.
The latest occurred at a second-floor apartment on Prince Street, where a tenant told police she was robbed at gunpoint by two men on Monday.
So, we have to ask, what's going on with all these robberies?
Does this growing trend change your perception of Salem? Do you think the pressue of the holiday season has something do with it?
Over the last three weeks we've received some of the following comments from our readers:
- John Merrett: 23 million women own firearms in America and this is why. Crime is on the rise in Salem, so take steps to protect you and those you care about. Don't be a victim of someones violent recklessness.
- John Andrews: That is a real shame and I hope the guy is aprehended, the family that runs Georgia's are some of the sweetest people I've met in town. I was there Sunday too, man that could have gotten ugly.
- Georgia: What a scary thought! Violet and her amazing family did not deserve this and I hope they find the robber.
- Letty C: I am so glad to hear no one was hurt! They are such hard working and kind people! It's also very frightening because I live very close to that corner and to know weapon-carrying thieves are running around when I am potentially out walking is terrifying. How about.a little extras police presence, please?!
- Jenni Schillizzi: Could someone please tell me what's going on in this beautiful town of ours? Why is it that the criminal element is coming HERE and treating Salem like it's Newark, NJ??? If the Mayor is so concerned with bringing in more residents and revenue, the least she could do is bring back the police officers who were let go do to cutbacks, so that criminals don't feel it's alright to commit felonies here! A stronger police presence would make them think twice about coming here!
- Bill: Agree - seems clear the violent crime is getting worse each year under Driscoll. Maybe more focus on that and the schools and less on tourism and solar garbage cans.
- john: It's the shelter. Nobody wants to admit it but that't the problem. It attracts unwanted people to Salem by allowing them to sober up once a week and get in for a meal and maybe clean up. If not that,they can always sleep at the police station. The shelter has a worthy purpose but it is not perfect. Drunks passed out all over town,needles found on the streets,it's a recipie for disaster.
- John Merrett "An armed man is a citizen,...an unarmed man is a subject.." and he's also a crime victim.
- Jen: I agree with John about the shelters/sober houses. I work for a lab that does drug testing for those places and they get away with a lot. They're not even getting help for their addictions.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.