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Fountain police partner with FBI to crackdown on crime - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Fountain police partner with FBI to crackdown on crime

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FOUNTAIN -

Fountain police joined forces with the FBI "Safe Streets" task force to flood the city with law enforcement officers in order to conduct numerous traffic stops, round up dangerous felons, and recover stolen cars and guns. 

It was the largest operation in Fountain history, and our cameras were give access to record as everything went down! 

"We are down here tonight saturating the city," Fountain Police Lt. Tommy Coates said. 

It's Friday night around 8 p.m. when Lt. Tommy Coates and his partner hit the streets. 

"We're focusing on some primary areas within the city where we've had a high volume of calls for service," Coates said. 

Coates and his partner are two of more than 30 law enforcement officers patrolling the City of Fountain during this special operation. 

Their first call was to assist officers who stopped a suspicious juvenile walking down the street with a backpack. 

This "routine" encounter ended with an arrest. 

"Ultimately the individual was in possession of a backpack filled with paraphernalia," Coates said. 

Later that evening, police noticed a suspicious van parked on the side of Wal Mart. 

Police ran the plate and got a hit!

"Just so you know the vehicle did end up being stolen," Lt. Coates told the suspect who was detained in the back of a squad car. 

The van ended up being stolen out of Nebraska. 

"The individual who had the keys in his pocket said he didn't know who the van belonged to," Coates said. 

Police made 7 felony arrests, recovered 3 stolen cars and two firearms. 

"I think the message our chief wants to send across the board is that if you want to come to Fountain and be up to no good and cause crime, then you can probably expect a little bit of attention from law enforcement," Coates said. 

Fountain Police Chief Chris Heberer helped launch the operation and is a strong supporter of partnerships with other law enforcement agencies.  

"There's no doubt in my mind that the City of Fountain is safer today based on the activities that occurred that night," he said. "We took individuals off the streets that were out to do citizens harm. Many of the individuals we contacted and took into custody had multiple warrants and some were felony DUI warrants. " 

Not every traffic stop or police encounter resulted in an arrest. 

Officers spent the evening talking with neighborhood kids and making contact with suspicious people parked in the back of motels and apartment complexes. 

Police believe being proactive in the community is key and with additional help from the FBI, Chief Heberer believes crime rates will drop. 

Unfortunately, the City of Fountain has seen a steady spike in crimes since 2014. 

The following statistics were provided by the Fountain Police Department: 

Assault cases:

2014: 91

2015: 115

2016: 194

Home and car burglaries: 

2014: 239

2015: 250

2016: 284

Theft and shoplifting: 

2014: 4388

2015: 517

2016: 728 

"If you have nefarious intentions in your heart, you're probably like, 'Wow, I shouldn't be a criminal in Fountain' or 'Tonight is not the night,'" Heberer said. "As long as the bad guy is in jail, everybody is happy." 

This operation is not a "one and done" type deal. Chief Heberer says he'll be working with the FBI in the future on another similar operation. 

A spokesperson says the FBI uses federal money to fund operations like this. 

The "Safe Streets" operation in Fountain occurred in late April. 

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