Police form plan to combat property crime

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A crime alert out of Richmond's Southside, where police say property crimes are on the rise. They're seeing a jump in burglaries and thefts from the Westover Hills and nearby areas. That includes break-ins reported this past month on Carnation Street and Argyle Terrace.

Police say the home break-ins happen during the day, when people are gone. The cars are getting hit at night. Either way, people need to stop making it easy for the criminals.

When Tim Steele leaves the house - often, there's not a lot to worry about.

"You're in the city, but you know, it's almost like the country," said Tim.

But if you ask the woman they call, "Weasel", it's not always that simple.

"Keep your lights on; make sure your doors are locked. Make sure nothing valuable in sight," Weasel said.

Sure enough, property crime is on the rise in this part of Richmond. Home break-ins, especially at apartments, are up 43%. Thefts from cars - up 83%.

"In this economic downturn, some very opportunistic criminals out here doing whatever it takes to get their hands on something they can sell," said Richmond Police Lt. John O'Kleasky.

Often the suspects are looking for drug money so police plan to be more visible and they're hoping for help.

"We really need the public to be watching, not just sorta locked in their apartment with the blinds drawn, not paying attention.  We need folks to really be looking," O'Kleasky said.

If that doesn't work - Tim offers "this" idea, for keeping the house safe.

"I just think something that makes noise when people come to your house kinda deters people from coming up to your house," said Tim.

Worth noting, that violent crime is this area is down 22%, due mostly to a small drop in the number of robberies and assaults.

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