Richmond businesses team up for crime watch

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Police are trying to work with the city business owners to help reduce a recent increase in crime. Today, they held a Business Watch Forum, where several businesses attended.

But, we talked with some business owners in The Fan who are already involved in their own watch group. They watch out for each other to make sure everyone is safe and crime free.

There are the four camera eyes on you when you're walking into "Rev It Up" in The Fan, but owner Sharon Taylor is using her own eyes, along with the surrounding businesses to keep crime away.

"If you partner together you're going to have less people think of doing something bad," says Taylor.

That's the focus of this forum today in Richmond. Police teaching business men and women ways to prevent crime from ever stepping foot in their stores.

Police focused on making sure businesses have cameras set up to capture faces of those walking in and not keeping a lot of cash in the stores

Also, if you see something suspicious, your gut is probably right. That's especially importance since Taylor's store opens early and closes late.

"They will come in and check you out. I've had a couple of people come in, very early or very late acting strange but I'm always comforted by the cameras. They see them and go 'hmmmm'," says Taylor.

But the crime does happen all around and when it does police say there is one mistake many business owners make.

"They start to tidy up get back to work. What we ask them to do is to take a few minutes, close down the store and let us do our investigation," says Sgt. Michael Talley.

An investigation Taylor and other businesses here are hoping to avoid together. "Protecting each other is pretty important because you just never know."

Now, the challenge for these businesses is to put today's crime prevention methods in action and to fight the crime together.

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