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Spike in crime in Las Vegas spurs search for causes, cures

From shootings on the Strip to the killing of a liquor store clerk who couldn't open a safe to an April weekend that saw five slayings in separate cases, crime is spiking in the shadows in Las Vegas — and spurring questions about causes and cures.

The local sheriff, police union officials and district attorney have various theories about what's behind the body count: 64 homicides by the end of April, compared with 29 killings after the first four months of 2015; 75 slayings as of Wednesday, compared with 45 by the same date last year.

They cite officer staffing levels; gang activity; jail release policies locally and in neighboring California; and a departmental...

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