Spike in home burglaries in Richmond's Fan District

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond police are warning homeowners in The Fan tonight to lock up! Crooks are watching homes as targets for break-ins.

Since July first, at least seven homes have been hit on West Grace Street, Hanover Avenue and North Lombardy. The most recent case happened Thursday. Three happened on the same block of West Grace, including that one yesterday.

In most of the cases, people woke up to find burglars in their homes. One man said he's always mindful about his own personal safety, but is thankful some re-enforcement is on the way.

Casey Rayburn hasn't finished unpacking. He just moved to Richmond last week. His concern right now, is making sure his windows get the same treatment as his neighbors.

"There are no bars on any of them, so we're right here eye level, so anyone can hop on the ledge and get in," said Rayburn.

Rayburn said his landlord plans to install bars on his windows this weekend.

"Anything to slow somebody down," said Rayburn.

He lives in the same building on West Grace near Lombardy where a burglar snatched electronics Thursday in broad daylight.

Two other homes have been hit on the same street this month. In five cases, a noise jolted people from their sleep only to find a stranger lurking around. The crooks have swiped TV's, laptops and cash.

"It makes you a little bit nervous," said Rayburn.

In most of the cases, the crooks had an easy way in either through an unlocked window, or a door. Police warn to lock up, even if you're on the second floor and close your blinds or curtains.

Security lighting and a working alarm system can't hurt either. Rayburn said you don't have to worry about him.

"We always keep everything locked, especially when we're not here," said Rayburn.

The victims gave vague descriptions of the burglars, but they appear to be similar in most of the cases. Police can't confirm if it's the same guy.

If you can help Richmond detectives solve these burglaries, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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