Break-ins are on the rise in one northside neighborhood. Police have turned their attention to the Bellevue area in between Bryan Park and Brook Road. Monday night, they canvassed the neighborhood to make sure homeowners know about an alarming increase in property crimes.
Police officers and higher ups came out of the precincts and headquarters and onto the streets to combat these break-ins, most of which they say are completely preventable.
Richmond Police found telling examples of behavior that invites criminals into the neighborhood. Sector Lieutenant Chris Gleason knocked on a door to talk to a woman in Bellevue. The first thing he had to tell her was that she'd left her keys right in the front door.
"Word gets out among all the individuals who do these thefts and if your community is an easy community to steal from it just brings more and more people in," Gleason explained.
Police call property crime here, specifically thefts from cars, "a substantial problem."
In the last sixty days, there were 24 property crimes reported in the Bellevue neighborhood. Police tell NBC12 in that same time period last year there was virtually no property crime there. Gleason believes with covert ops and obvious patrols, the recent upward trend seems to be changing.
"In the last two weeks, we've done a number of different initiatives in the area and as a result we've only had one," he said. "So we are starting to make some progress but it is imperative that the community continue to support us."
At a time when thefts like this are common, some think police sound like broken records when they continually ask Richmonders to remove their valuables and lock their doors. It seems repetition might be necessary.
"I think people do get it," Gleason maintained. "I think it's that everybody is very busy in the hustle and bustle of things, we all tend to forget that. But in this time, especially with all the increases in this area, we need to be extra diligent."
If you catch a thief in the act police ask that you call 911 immediately but if you find out something was stolen after the fact you can call the non-emergency number at 646-5100.
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