ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Car jackings, murder, and assault are all crimes that may be tied to gangs in our region.

What drives the crime and the way gangs are formed, is different compared to the 80’s and 90’s.

The St. Clair County state’s attorney Brendan Kelly says gangs are no longer a franchise, but have evolved into individual cells that are often tied to a street where gang members live rather than a neighborhood. One thing that hasn’t changed is the use of guns – in which most are stolen from Missouri.

Kelly says for those who leave firearms in their vehicles, they can be stolen and brought into Illinois.

” There are guns that come from Mississippi. There are a lot of folks that have family connections from St. Louis…that are tied down to Mississippi – where they have a very little regulation in terms of gun purchasing.”

He says personal vendetta’s and street credibility are just as likely to drive gang violence as drugs.

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