Do not be an accomplice to the criminals lurking in our community. Report them!

Study after study has shown that the immigrant population generally does not contribute to an increase in crime in a community. However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the reality that some immigrants commit crimes and are not being reported. This hurts our entire community in multiple ways.

Officials from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office reported that on , a 15-year-old girl was heading to the school bus stop when she was intercepted by Victor Emandes Ramírez, 33, who grabbed her from behind. He put her in his car and took her to a shed behind his mobile home where he raped her, according to the arrest warrant.

The immigrant, who did not speak English, put the teenager in his car and took her to her school. Along the way, he used Google Translate on his cell phone to communicate with the victim, telling her that she looked pretty, that he wanted to be friends, and that she shouldn’t tell her family anything about what had happened.

Wake County Sheriff’s agents used surveillance footage from the school to identify the suspect’s car and later arrested Emandes Ramírez, who is charged with first-degree kidnapping, statutory rape of a child age 15 or under, and statutory sex offense with a child age 15 or under. A bond of one million dollars was set for the immigrant, who is scheduled to appear in court at the end of .

This girl suffered a cruel attack that will leave her scarred for years. But far from wallowing in pain, shame, or fear, she decided not to remain silent and she reported her attacker. Sadly, this is not always the case when crimes of this nature occur.

Unfortunately, we have heard about painful human tragedies in our community where, due to fear of the aggressor, due to fear that the immigration authorities might intervene, or because the attacker is a relative, the sexual predator is not reported. This hurts us all. A criminal who is loose in the streets– even if he is from our own community or is a close relative– means that at some point he will find another victim. Will we be complicit in this?

We have also heard about people who complain that in a certain house in their neighborhood it is known that drugs are sold. However, the complaints do not turn into reports. As the days go by, the problem of drug trafficking continues to grow in that area, until tragedy knocks at the door.

Unfortunately, it is also common to find stories of people who go to a party or family get-together and drink too much. Then, as all the attendees look on unconcerned, they take their car keys and get ready to drive. Someone is heard rhetorically asking the intoxicated person: Are you okay? Can you drive? And that is the end of any attempt to stop a potential tragedy.

If you know someone who is committing criminal activity, or if you know that a person could become a potential danger to others, do not turn a blind eye. Do not remain silent. Report criminals, wherever they come from.

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