Police take to the streets of Westover Hills - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Police take to the streets of Westover Hills

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A series of crimes in Westover hills has made life uneasy for people living there.

From a car-jacking to a home invasion, to petty crime, people in the community are hoping that their neighborhood, which has seen an uptick in crime, is not on the verge of becoming a danger zone. Police say they won't go down without a fight.

For Richmond Police tonight was about being there, before the crime is committed.

They shed their cruisers and instead of searching for law breakers, they went by foot in search of people who abide by the law, and want their neighborhood to stay safe.

"In general it's a nice neighborhood with some nice people, but there are some issues," said Lt. John A. O'Kleasky of the Richmond Police Department.

Issues like a home invasion in May where a woman found the barrel of a gun in her face, to a carjacking where a woman was kidnapped at knife point.

Merrily Baber has lived in the Westover Hills area for 37 years, and isn't ready to hand her neighborhood over to the crooks just yet.

"When you've got a police presence people are not on the right side of the law are less anxious to be hanging around," said Baber.

So police continue their march around the neighborhood. Answering questions and getting to know the people living there. Hopeful that they realize they are there to help.

"When people see it, it is more a sense of security in your neighborhood. And all the people doing wrong are probably like hold on," said Westover Hills resident Leslie Walker

It's a message police are sending to would- be criminals. Hoping to return this neighborhood back to what makes people love it the most. It's peace and quiet.

And it is not just big crimes like car jackings and home invasions that have police and residents concerned. Petty crimes, like burglaries and break-ins are up as well.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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