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Warning Signs

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Why Do Young People Join Gangs?

While there are a number of risk factors that contribute to gang involvement ranging from adolescent rebelliousness to community disorganization, there are also common reasons most young people say they join:  

  •  Lack of parental involvement

  • Seeking a sense of family structure, belonging, and discipline provided by the gang

  • Respect and recognition

  • Companionship

  • Lack of positive role models

  • Family history of gang involvement

  • Peer pressure/coercion

  • Protection or revenge

  • Pride for neighborhood

  •  Opportunities to make money
  • Access to drugs, alcohol, weapons, sex

Warning Signs That Someone May Be Involved In A Gang

  • Graffiti or tattoos depicting numbers, initials, street names, geographic areas, stars, pitchforks, three dots, or crowns

  • Wearing clothing of all one color

  • Wearing or possessing bandannas

  • Using an unfamiliar nickname

  • Signs of drug/alcohol use

  • Signs of physical abuse

  • Truancy and/or poor grades at school

  • Discipline problems at home and/or school

submit a tip

or text a tip to Crimestoppers at CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD

or call Crimestoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477)

you may be eligible for a reward

Want to contact the Collier County Sheriff's Office Gang Unit call our Non-Emergency phone number at 239-774-4434 or email us at