RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A rash of robberies in Richmond's Fan district has police on high alert. Most of the crimes have been in and around the Stuart Circle area of the Fan, just west of VCU's main campus.
There have 5 robberies in less than a week, 6 in the last ten days. It began 10 days ago at busy Monument and Robinson. A woman's purse was taken. At the time residents didn't think much of the crime.
"Really it's crime everywhere," said one Fan resident.
"I'm not really that scared," said another resident.
Five robberies later and people are starting to take notice.
"It's awful that people get hurt that way, but you have to be alert when walking in the city," said Fan resident Janet Hutchinson.
On Tuesday it was 200 Vine Street. A man with a handgun took a purse. Wednesday at 1600 Park Avenue, a man was punched in the head, knocked to the ground, his wallet was taken. Thursday it was the 400 block of Stuart Circle. A man was assaulted, thrown to the ground, his wallet taken. Sunday night in the 2600 block of West Main a man was robbed at gunpoint, and Monday morning at 2600 Hanover, another robbery at gunpoint.
"In the six robberies that we've had we've had a variety of suspect descriptions. They've gone from white males to black males some of the suspects have been armed with guns. Some haven't," said Lt. Edward Capriglione with the Richmond Police Department.
All of the robberies happened when it was dark outside, between 7:30 at night and 2:30 in the morning. And in almost all of the cases, the victim was walking alone.
Richmond police are picking up patrols in the Fan. They've also teamed up with VCU officers expanding the number of areas in the Fan under surveillance. Police say the best thing you can do is not walk alone.
"Try to limit the amount of time you spend on the cell phone or texting while you're walking. If you're an employee in the Fan and you're leaving at the end of the night to go home. Maybe walk with a co worker or a friend down to your car. Just try to walk with somebody," said Capriglione.
It's not just the people walking at night that can help. Once you get home, police are asking you to look out your windows, keep an eye on the area and if you see something that doesn't look right, don't hesitate to call them.
If you have information on any of the robberies you can call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. You can also text crime stoppers at 274637 using the key word "I-tip". Both options are anonymous.