Petersburg police announce new initiative to combat crime - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Petersburg police announce new initiative to combat crime

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email                                      

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Another armed robbery on the South Crater Road corridor, just as Petersburg Police are cracking down on violent crime in the area. Thursday morning the Chief of Police outlined the department's efforts to reduce crime and promised harsh prosecution of those arrested.

The Burger King is the scene of the latest armed robbery on the commercial stretch of South Crater Road, happening just as police announce the arrest of two prior robbery suspects and the search for a third.

In just the last week, Petersburg Police were able to catch up with these men, 18 year old Sammy Bonner and 18 year old Corbin Alexander Dickerson.  They've been arrested and charged in the armed robberies of eight businesses over the last year and a half on South Crater Road, an area that has become a hot spot for crime. A third man, Mario Figueroa is still on the run. Police Chief Dixon says these men were working together.

"We know they were responsible for these eight, but we will continue to investigate any similarities and other robberies," said Petersburg Police Chief John Dixon.

Petersburg police credit these arrests to their new crime intelligence unit, which has helped the force devote targeted patrols for deterrence and response.

"The unit consists of several detectives who work the streets, combined with crime analysis. We now have a single unit that can gather information, analyze information and then take enforcement action," Chief Dixon said.

Police say this new system also helped them make a recent arrest of a juvenile in the Dunkin Donuts robbery last December.

And while violent crime within the city is down more than 50 percent from this time last year, Petersburg Police continue to be concerned about this ongoing string of robberies, and now have another challenge before them.

"This was very serious as we know, robberies can lead to other things, so what we want is make sure we deter to show we will not tolerate that kind of behavior in the city of Petersburg," said Chief Dixon.

To prove they're serious about combating crime in the area Petersburg officials say that they'll be asking for the maximum sentence, 25 years per robbery meaning it could be up to 350 years in prison for the worst offender.

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