There's a new gang on APD's radar. They call themselves the Juggalos. Police say they're assaulting people in the entertainment district.
On Wednesday undercover APD gang officers hit some of the known hang outs of the Juggalos. They're a relatively new group that gained the attention of the FBI last year and now has raised concerns among local police.
The Juggalos are devout fans of the rap-metal group the Insane Clown Posse. They paint their faces like the lead singers, wear shirts with the band name and may have tattoos of the band's logos. Officers say the majority of them are harmless.
"There's the fans and there's the ones we've seen here recently that we think are responsible for a rise in crime in the downtown area," said an APD gang detective.
The crimes associated with Juggalos include assaults, thefts and drug use.
"They're doing a lot of pocket checks where they use force to take something from somebody. Or they'll come up pick someone's pocket," the detective said.
The victims, officers say, are downtown patrons who have had too much to drink. The homeless have also been targeted.
"We're going out trying to make contact with individuals that we think might be Juggalos and talking to them and figuring out what their actual involvement is," the detective said. "A lot of them have no problem saying they're Juggalos cause all they are is fans, they're not involved in a particular type of crime. There are those out there that are involved in crimes. Those are the ones we're trying to identify."
Officers are documenting those who meet the criteria of street gang members. They shared photos with FOX 7 of three Juggalos in Austin showing their hand sign. One had "CCC" on his hat. Officers say that stands for Capitol City Clowns.
Weekly meetings for the group are held at Zilker Park.
"We probably have over 20 documented in the area that we think are involved in criminal activity. At least half of those have been documented in this past year. We've doubled the documentation in the past 12 months," the detective said.