RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Another armed robbery in Richmond's Fan District has neighbors and nearby business managers concerned.
This is the latest of more than a half-dozen reported in the last two weeks. This recent one happened on the 200 block of North Shields Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. Neighbors tell us that the 69-year-old victim was approached in the alley by the gunman. It's just yards away from neighboring businesses that were open during the time of the robbery.
Joe's Inn and Shields Market are just two of the businesses on Shields Avenue in Richmond's Fan District. Both were open till midnight Wednesday when the woman was robbed at gunpoint on their block.
"Who is going to go after a 69-year-old woman?" said Shields Market manager, Mari Miles. "It's scary! It's frightening! Of course we find it alarming. It's happening a lot in our neighborhood now and that's relatively new for us!"
"I've heard that this is anywhere from the sixth to the tenth in the recent weeks," said Joe's Inn manager, Tina Kafantaris.
And these two business managers just hope the problem doesn't get worse. According to police reports, robberies in The Fan were reported on Monument, Vine, Park, Stuart Circle, Main and even Hanover Streets, most between 7:30 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.
Tina and Mari are taking precautions to protect not just their employees, but their customers as well. Ever since the attack, the restaurant manager is making sure their security lights are always on for added protection especially when the employees are leaving the restaurant after dark.
"We've actually put a big sign up in the back just letting our employees know what's going on," said Kafantaris. "Last night we were informing all of our customers what was going on and telling anyone if they were by themselves or on foot we'd be happy to escort them."
While the number of armed robberies in The Fan seems to be increasing, these two business managers have confidence that justice will be served.
"He's going to get caught!" said Miles. "Richmond City Police are going to catch you!"
There's only a vague description of that suspect but if you know anything that can help investigators, call Richmond Police.