Police, residents dealing with increase in Richmond car break-ins

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Residents are fed up with recent car break-ins in their Richmond neighborhoods. Police in the third precinct say they’re seeing a huge uptick in car thefts compared to last year.

Sarah Ann Jennings is one of those residents.

“I came out one morning and i saw that my light was on in my car. My passenger side door was ajar, my gym shoes were everywhere,” said Jennings pointing to her glove compartment.

Jenning’s locked car was parked outside her Willow Lawn home.

“Surprised sense of violation. This was my car and my safe space,” she said.

Jennings is one of 65 property crimes reported from September 15th to October 12th. Most of those were thefts from vehicles.

In that 28 day period, they were 34 car break-ins compared to just nine last year. That’s a 278 percent increase.

“It’s been a major problem in the neighborhood,” said Helen Nunley, a Hampton Gardens resident.

She says her neighbors say it’s happening early in the morning.

“They can hear people, it’s either someone riding by on a bicycle or someone walking by and they are just pulling the doors to see if any doors are open,” said Nunley.

Thieves mainly take electronics and money. But police say it’s a bigger concern when they steal firearms.

“It’s really scary that someone who finds the time in value in going through cars in then finding weapons and has access to those,’ said Jennings.

Residents are being extra vigilant and careful until the culprits are found.

“We all used to leave our doors open, leave the front doors open, there was just a great sense of feeling secure in this neighborhood and that is slowly drifting away unfortunately,” said Nunley.

Some of these issues will be addressed at the next neighborhood watch meeting hosted by the Richmond Police Department. Officer Paul Lewis will host the event at the Richmond Police Academy on November 10 at 6 p.m. Address is 1202 W. Graham Road.

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