RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Police are stepping up patrols after a rash of robberies in The Fan and Museum Districts over the weekend. Richmond Police are investigating five incidents in which two gunmen approached victims and demanded money. Those thieves are still on the loose.
Some residents said they're on edge after four armed robberies and one attempted robbery, in which the victim was assaulted. Police told NBC12 they hope to have arrests soon with the information they've received from victims, and any tips they get after citizens see this story.
At 11:15 on Friday night, a man was walking on the 1700 block of Grove Avenue when he was robbed by two armed gunmen.
Then Saturday morning at 5:25, another man was robbed at gunpoint by two men on the 100 block of North Morris Street. About five minutes later and just six blocks away on Grove, two armed men stole from another victim.
The Museum District was hit Sunday night. Just after nine o'clock, a woman was robbed at gunpoint on Boulevard, again by two men. Twenty minutes later on Monument Avenue, two thieves assaulted another woman as they tried to rob her. Those incidents were only separated by half of a mile.
"Because of the locations of two different sets of robberies, they may be connected to each other within the set," said Lt. Timothy Morley. "Whether or not they're all connected, it would be a little premature for me to say that at this point."
The M.O.'s are also similar. In most cases, the thieves started talking to the victims. They asked if the people had a cigarette or a light. This was just a pretense, and then the guns came out.
Despite this weekend's crime spree, as the sunlight dimmed Monday night, residents were still out and about.
"Every once in a while there'll be a rash of robberies or break-ins and the police have been really cooperative and they've been able to find the people and then things will feel safe again," said Fan resident Kathleen Murphy.
Police said they cannot solve these crimes without the public's help. Residents are extra eyes on the streets. They know who belongs in their neighborhoods. Morley said often times when people report suspicious behavior, officers are able to catch thieves in the act, or crack the cases.