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Richmond Police report 29% jump in package thefts compared to last year

New video released by Richmond Police shows thieves in action, swiping packages from unsuspecting homeowners in the middle of the day.
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 1:37 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - New video released by Richmond Police shows thieves in action, swiping packages from unsuspecting homeowners in the middle of the day. It’s happening all over the City of Richmond, and catching the eye of police.

“It’s a very challenging issue for us to enforce,” said Acting Major Rick Edwards, Richmond Police Dept.

So far this year, investigators say they’ve had 180 reports of packages gone missing from doorsteps. This time last year, that number stood at 139. That’s a 29% increase.

Why the increase? Police say warmer weather means more foot traffic in neighborhoods, and package thefts are a crime of opportunity.

“There are a lot of people out and about and we’re just seeing folks getting back to normal after COVID and more people are back to work and thus they’re not there to collect their packages quickly,” said Acting Major Edwards.

Richmond Police say technology is helping in the fight to stop package thefts. Doorbell or surveillance cameras are catching the crooks in action. Police are sharing those videos with neighbors groups and hoping to ID any suspects.

But another type of theft is catching the eyes of police too, car break-ins.

“Someone just pulled up in a car, smashed my window, grabbed my purse and just drove off. It happened in like 30 seconds and I watched the entire thing happen,” said Joelle Jackson, Had Car Broken Into.

Joelle Jackson says crooks targeted her car Friday while at a park. Police say they need people in the city to be more vigilant and if you see something say something.

“Was not too panicked because I was like you know it’s just plastic but I forgot that my checkbook was in there and that is what really did the most damage,” said Jackson.

Detectives are asking people to have a neighbor pick up a package or have it delivered to work. Those caught could face larceny and trespassing charges.

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