Overall crime in the Fan down despite increase in robberies

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You've heard the stories a number of times in recent weeks.

People walking along the streets of the Fan when out of nowhere, armed robbers attack.

Police say those incidents are part of recent spikes in robberies.

But we did some digging and found out, overall crime in that area, is actually seeing a drastic decrease.

You walk down the street in groups, you steer clear of dark alleys and you try to keep your cell phone handy.

But as Derek Chamberlin learned the hard way, those safety precautions don't always keep away the bad guys.

"I was just walking back from the bar and saw a few people riding up on bicycles and it's like 2:00 in the morning at that point and you know, didn't really think much of it," he said. "Before I knew it, I had a few people surround me and after that, I was out a little bit of money."

Chamberlin isn't the only fan resident experiencing this kind of trauma.

In fact, we ran the numbers and in the last three months, robberies there have more than tripled.

From January through the end of March only four robberies were reported.

But from the beginning of April through the end of last month, Richmond Police investigated 14 incidents.

Police told say they've arrested the person responsible in that most recent rash and linked him to five robberies in the Fan and one on the southside.

They're not releasing his identity just yet because they hope to charge him in other incidents.

That's good news to fan residents Ellen Getz.

"We worry after things like that happen and then when they make arrests it kind of makes it calm down," she said.

We dug up another statistic that's easing their fears.

In the last three months, overall crime in the Fan is actually down 12 percent.

"Based on my prior experience I'd say that's a pretty good number," said Chamberlin. "I mean, I wouldn't want anyone to go through the same thing I went through."

The third precinct commander says investigators are working leads in that other spike of robberies.

They also recently released photos of a couple suspected of robbing two women in the Fan on June 23rd.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.