12 INVESTIGATES: Top crimes in Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The top two crimes Richmond Police see are destruction of property and hit and run - and the neighborhood hit the most is the Fan.

In 2011 and 2012 combined, RPD saw almost 7,000 (6,668) incidents of destruction of property. That's the most out of any crime category on the department's list. 484 of them were in the Fan - the most when compared to other neighborhoods.

We broke down the numbers with Lt. Erlan Marshall, who protects the Fan. We wanted to find out why he thinks his officers get these calls.

"Seeing as how the Fan has an intricate network of streets, and we're in an urban environment," said Marshall.

Lt. Marshall also says the high population of people in their late teens and early twenties, also contributes to the issue. But here's the important thing to remember:

"A lot of crimes we see in this area, when it comes to property crimes, are very frustrating for us because they're preventable," said Marshall.

Marshall says on his end, community policing and presence are good deterrents. But, that's not all.

"If you're having a problem in your area, I would like to know about it, because I want to send my officers to that specific area to try to curb that problem," said Marshall.

The same goes for the second most reported crime in the city. In 2011 and 2012 combined, RPD saw about 5,000 (5074) hit and runs. Again, the Fan is the department's hot spot - officers there saw almost 500 incidents, the most when compared to other neighborhoods.

Again, we wanted to know why:

"With the urban environment, parking is a big issue in the Fan," said Marshall. "Mixed with the fact that we have several bars in the area, and several people traveling back and forth."

Many of these incidents are reported along the Fan's main corridors, in the late nights and early mornings. But unlike the destruction of property, there's not a whole lot you or the police department can do to tackle this problem.

"I think a hit and run is a hit and run. It's going to happen, especially with the network of streets and the parking, it's going to happen. I don't see how we can prevent it. We can hope to slow it down with again, like I said, the police presence."

Marshall says for these and any other type of crime, prevention and crime fighting is a two-way street.

"Every officer that puts this blue uniform on, puts it on for a reason. He wants to help. He wants to assist the community. But in order to assist, we need the community's assistance as well."

The third-most reported crime in the city the RPD sees is simple assault. The hot spot for that is Gilpin Court.

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