RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A crime alert out of Richmond's Fan district where a man was robbed of his car at knife point. It happened just before 10 Wednesday night near the intersection of Harvie and Main streets.
A man had just finished parking his car on Harvie Street when a green Jeep Cherokee with two people inside pulled up. One man got out, seemingly to ask for directions; instead, he pulled out a knife and took the victim's keys and car.
It's the kind of crime that reminds people to be careful, especially on this New Year's Eve when so many will be out and about.
"Don't walk around alone, you know especially late and night, and stay around big groups of people, and when you go home, lock your doors," said Ronnie Green who just moved to the Fan.
It's a good plan to keep in mind all the time, as statistics show robberies are up in the area over years past.
In 2008, there were a total of 47 robberies reported in the Fan and VCU neighborhoods. As of right now in 2009, that number is 63. A scary, but not surprising fact for some.
"I guess the economy is so bad, and I think people are really struggling," said Green.
Others believe the increase is not unique to the Fan.
"I would say it's relatively safe. I would suspect that you've seen crime go up everywhere," said resident James Tracy.
Still, Tracy believes he knows one reason the Fan is targeted by criminals: unsuspecting youth who showcase things like I-pods and cell phones often.
"You have a lot of college kids who don't think about that, and they have a lot of things that are valuable," Tracy said.
The President of the Fan District Association says that alongside police, they are aware of the uptick in crimes like these in the neighborhood. That's why they always send out an email blast to their members when something like this happens.
If you live or frequent the city's Fan district, Richmond police urge you to call them if you see anything suspicious. It may help them prevent a crime like this.