COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Columbus Division of Police (CPD) has put operators and employees of illegal after-hours clubs on notice. CPD and Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said they are cracking down after an increase in violence this year at or near some of the clubs.

“These are real places that are causing real problems in our community,” Klein said.

There have been four shootings and one shots-fired call related to the illegal clubs since late February, according to CPD. Between those incidents, at least 10 people have been shot, four killed.

“We’re seeing a troubling increase in crime associated with after-hours clubs, particularly violent crime,” Klein said. “My office is taking this very seriously in partnership with the division of police doing everything we can to identify the locations when possible and shut them down to make sure they do not operate in the city of Columbus.”

Klein and leaders with CPD say they will be taking a more proactive approach, trying to stop the illegal activity before things possibly turn violent.

“We want every operator or employee of illegal after-hours establishments to know we’re going to be looking for them and we’re going to be taking proactive actions against them to reduce violent crime around the city,” Deputy Chief Robert Sagle said.

The crackdown started over the weekend. CPD served a search warrant at Smoke Shop and Hookah Lounge at 2400 East Dublin Granville Road early Saturday morning. The establishment had been operating as an illegal after-hours club between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., according to CPD. Police said they found four guns, three of which were stolen, suspected crack cocaine, suspected marijuana, and multiple boxes of beer and liquor.

“The combination of all these things is not only illegal under Ohio law, but it’s also a recipe for violence and for serious bodily injury that could occur not only to the patrons there but to all the folks that live and work around these locations,” said Klein.

Police said Jerrod Glaze was issued a summons for selling alcohol without a permit. They also said they arrested Kendall Willis for carrying a concealed weapon since they said his criminal history disqualified him from having a concealed handgun.