Neighborhood warns public of scary car hold-ups

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two times in the last week, two different unsuspecting motorists were nearly robbed while they were pulling out of their driveway, according to the Independence Plaza Neighborhood Association President.

Tom Ribera volunteers his time and resources to try and keep his neighborhood clean. His association stretches from Benton to Paseo and Independence Avenue to Interstate 70.

"Bottom line is if you don't do anything, if you don't get engaged, you don't get out there, it's going to always be the same," said Ribera.

The latest round of crime is concerning, according to Ribera. He said someone was pulling out from their driveway near Thompson and Benton when a car "full of people" blocked the driver.

"As they were backing out of the driveway, the car approached, blocked his exit and one of the persons got out with a hand gun and robbed him," he said.

Luckily no one was hurt, but it's the problem of reoccurring crime Ribera is trying to rid the area of.

He showed 41 Action News a park near 10th Street and Agnes. A fountain runs for the kids and a new playground sits ready to be used, but Ribera said there are homeless people who sleep there. He also said too many people loiter and drink there.

"But they don't use them, our residents don't use them because there are a lot of people drinking and carrying on, adults," said Ribera.

He is calling for the city council to impose stricter loitering ordinances, but will continue to work for safe streets.

Ribera stressed that this is not an isolated crime area. He said this happens everywhere and stressed the importance of everyone being more vigilant.

"I look around and see the neighborhood and I see what it can be and then I see how it is and I see that you can turn this around," he said.  "You really can. It just takes an effort."

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