The Salt Lake City Police Department's watch log for the Thanksgiving weekend suggests even criminals were carving turkey—except, that is, on North Temple. Despite the just-completed Trax line, crime appears to continue to plague the neighborhood.
Part of the city's pitch for connecting the Salt Lake City airport with downtown was revitalizing an area that has long languished for lack of local investment and interest, much of it deterred by high crime rates related to drug addicts and sex workers frequenting the local motels.
But two weeks ago, the long-beleaguered owners of local businesses celebrated the completion of the line with a cone-tossing photo op, marking the end of years of little or no traffic because of heavy construction. But while the cones may have disappeared, leaving a pristine railway line set to begin operation next April, armed robbers still make regular appearances.
Friday night, just after nine p.m., El Asadero was hit, when a white male in his 20s, a black mask covering his face, pulled a knife in front of an employee of the Mexican restaurant at 1011 North Temple and asked for money. A 19-year-old who went after the assailant was stabbed for his trouble.
Sunday night, it was Quality Inn at 1659 North Temple that was next hit, when a man with a gun robbed a taxicab driver responding to a call for cab service of his wallet, cash and cell phone.
Whether the movement of passengers via Trax from the airport to downtown will help bring in development money remains unclear. But for now, North Temple's popularity for those looking to steal a few bucks continues unabated.