Capone never served prison time for his most outrageous crimes. He was put behind bars by law enforcement accountants who caught him at tax evasion.
A similar sort of indirect approach might work in Wheeling. Instead of nailing thugs for the serious but hard-to-prove crimes that they commit, such as assault and dealing in illegal drugs, police may be able to team up with East Wheeling residents and businesses to make life difficult for the criminals — through “no trespassing” signs and written notices.
If the hoodlums aren’t welcome in businesses and aren’t allowed to hang around on private property, they may not spend much time in East Wheeling.
Simplistic? Yes. Possibly ineffective? Yes, again. But it’s worth a try, with the cooperation of businesses and residents who are sick and tired of criminals in their neighborhood.