River Lofts Apts. sends out crime alert weeks after abduction - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

River Lofts Apartments sends out crime alert weeks after abduction, sexual assault

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

The search is still on for two people accused in a horrifying abduction, sexual assault and robbery outside a Shockoe Bottom apartment building. But NBC12 found it, it took nearly a month for that River Lofts Apartment's management team to notify its residents.

Richmond Police just released the crime alert to NBC12 on Thursday, but NBC12 confirmed security guards at the River Lofts knew about it shortly after the crime.

So we had to wonder why management just posted this notice on every door of the apartment complex Thursday night.

The memo was posted on every door at the apartment complex on East Cary Street.  It's an alert about a woman who was allegedly abducted in front of the building in the 2500 block of East Cary Street.  Richmond Police say she was robbed by a couple and  the man sexually assaulted the victim.

"I feel so sorry for her, it's such a traumatic experience," says Daniel Elie. 

But it happened a month ago and people who live here didn't know about it until now.

We tried to go to the management office for answers. They refused to answer our questions which included asking why residents are finding out about the crime one month after it happened even though apartment security guards knew about it.

A "no comment" isn't good enough for some residents.

"We should have gotten this memo a month ago!" says Evan Rallis.  "We should have gotten this memo two days after it happened."

"I feel that sort of thing should be reported just so people are aware they could be more safe, more proactive," says Elie.

It took contacting the corporate office, Forest City Enterprises, in Ohio to get an answer. This is their statement:

"The safety and security of our residents are our highest priorities, and our thoughts are with the victim and her family.

"Out of respect for the privacy of the victim and because the matter was the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Richmond Police Department, we chose not to communicate with residents earlier in the process.  We continue to work closely with Richmond Police and are cooperating fully in their investigation. We increased security patrols at the property following the incident and continue to maintain a heightened security presence. 

When Richmond Police recently decided to seek help from the public for any information on the crime, we felt it was appropriate to inform residents."

NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin says the landlord had no legal obligation to warn tenants about a crime. But, he says it is reasonable to expect a warning and to be angry when you don't receive one.

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