RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Tuesday afternoon, a Richmond man returned home to find burglars stealing his belongings. He then helped police catch the suspects. This all unfolded in broad daylight in the 200 block of West Franklin Street near Virginia Commonwealth University and the Jefferson Hotel.
Officers said they couldn't have arrested these suspects and charged them with robbery and breaking and entering without the help of the victim. For them, the most important thing to keep in mind is that man was able to assist and keep himself out of harm's way.
The feeling that something just wasn't right when he returned home to his apartment building around 4 o'clock was right on target. According to police, the victim walked in to find his door forced open and two men pointing guns at him. He backed away and they fled with his laptop and camera.
"He kept his wits about him and followed them," said Sector Lieutenant Hamlet Hood. "He didn't actively chase them and called the police and gave them a description of the individuals, as well as what direction they were running."
The apartment building is down the street from Richmond Police headquarters and there were a number of officers in the area who quickly responded.
Officers were able to track down and arrest one of the suspects at the intersection of North Belvidere and West Main Streets. Then about a block away at West Cary and North Belvidere Streets, police arrested suspect number 2. A short time later, police came back to the intersection at Belvidere and Main and arrested a third individual.
Lt. Hood explained the victim's detailed description cracked the case.
"Tell us what you see," he said. "It might seem insignificant to you but it might be the one thing we need to have closure in each event. It's a traumatic event but one thing we always ask victims to do is become the best witness."
Police believe they've arrested everyone involved. The motive and particular target of the incident are still under investigation.