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Police say they have strong leads in robbery near VCU

Published: Mar. 30, 2016 at 3:00 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 9, 2016 at 7:15 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police say that five men robbed a victim Tuesday night in Smith-Peters Park in the 900 block of Catherine Street near VCU.

The man was sitting on a bench when he was robbed. The victim says two of the suspects displayed guns and took his money. 

With wide open spaces, playground equipment and a pavilion for get-togethers, Smith-Peters Park is a family-friendly spot.

"Honestly, I'm kinda of surprised to hear about this," said nearby resident Kelly Richards, who has lived in this community for the last three years.

She and her dog, Jayna, usually take their walks through the park at about the same time this crime happened. "I've always thought my neighborhood was safe. I enjoy living in Carver," she said.

While Richards didn't see anything, Kristen Schaefer was across from the park as everything unfolded. "I saw all these cop cars out here and then we got the alert all on our phones saying that something had happened. I just kinda stayed inside, but it was kinda scary knowing that something like that could happen so close to where you live," said Schaefer.

Police say that "something" included the victim being assaulted and having his wallet, headset and phone stolen.

Initially, VCU police reported the suspects speeding away in an SUV, but Richmond Police said they're not sure about that and think the five may have just ran away.

Either way, for this community made up of families and students like Schaefer, the news was disturbing. "It's just kind of scary knowing that it's not just happened at 3 in the morning anymore. It's stuff that's happening at 10 at night," she said.

No injuries were reported.

Police said Wednesday that they have strong leads in the case, but have not named any suspects. Anyone with information can contact the VCU Police Department at (804) 828-1234.

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