Rio Grande homeless 'on edge' as crime crackdown looms

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Top secret planning continues this weekend for "Operation Rio Grande" -- the promised crackdown on lawlessness around the downtown homeless shelter.

It could come at any time; in the meantime, Salt Lake City police are beefing up their presence in the area.
Those who live and camp in the area say they've heard about the crackdown -- and, they say, they are very concerned.

"Stress, anxiety, uncertainty, worry, concern, fear, like just on edge," said Shannon Owen, who is homeless.

"Operation Rio Grande, they're gonna come through and arrest in masses. And basically take us all in and book us," added Owen.

Details are vague, but the crackdown on crime appears imminent.

Nick Kohler has lived in the Rio Grande area for years.

"They've been slowly rounding us up, especially this past week, I've seen so many arrests this past week - more than I've seen in the past six months," said Kohler.

"You can't even walk down the street without them stopping you, acting like you're a criminal. Just because you're there."


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