Albemarle police rounded up five suspects associated with a major gang in a crackdown on criminal activity in the city.
Tuesday morning, officers arrested three men and two women they said had known ties to the Bloods, which detectives said has infiltrated Albemarle from nearby cities that include Wilmington.
"Gang-related crimes become violent over time, which can ruin a city," said Capt. David Dulin.
Investigators said the arrests were part of a larger gang initiative, launched within the past year, that includes tracking the gangs' criminal movements.
Officers have also hosted a "call-down," where community members, federal agents, police officers and prosecutors from the district attorney's office gather to confront known gang members who have recently been arrested.
"The community as a whole, including the police department, will tell them, this is your last chance," Dulin said.
The suspects arrested include Mitchell Bordeaux, who police said shot into a home and a car on East Oakwood Street on July 8. No one was injured although a small child and grandmother were inside the home during the shooting.
Police also arrested Xavier Bordeaux (Mitchell's younger brother), Juwann Crump, Brittany Bowers and Misty Foskey, who they said are connected to an armed robbery at an Ingles' grocery store in late June.
During the robbery, police said two men wearing masks and holding guns, robbed the store manager of cash at closing time.
"If we do not do something about this type of gang activity, it's going to do nothing but get worse," Dulin said.
Residents told Eyewitness News they have already seen evidence that gang activity is rampant on the city's west and east side.
Bill Bowden said he is happy about the police department's initiative, and hope it's the solution to the problem.
"It's very worrisome, worrisome for your kids, your grandkids, you don't know what's going to happen," Bowden said.