I closed the 1st thread, here is a new place to post breakins or other incidents in your area.
ANOTHER robbery occurred on the 2300 block of E. Grace last night. ARRGGHH!
I was just about to post an update to the Break-in’s. They are continuing at an alarming rate. Many are during the day and some during early evening hours. Suspect has been described as wearing work type clothing or even painter’s clothes. Many have been to a rear door or window that is concealed by privacy fences or tall vegetation. Please keep alert and call for any suspicious people walking in the neighborhoods. If you see people who appear to be workers wandering the areas, call us so that we can check on them. We do have officers on bicycles in the neighborhoods, riding the alleyways, but we need your help. I know we can catch this guy or guys, but we need to work together. Thanks to everyone for all of your help.
Friday night (Aug 18th) myself and a large group of people(porch party!) witnessed a crack head
push a stolen gas grill down the middle of 29th street stopping at Franklin. The cops were very fast to respond and take control of the matter. My only outrage was that he pushed the thing for BLOCKS making a huge racket- and no one noticed.I had to call the cops. This was around 8:45 pm. Residents of Church Hill please leave your porch lights (front and rear). And pay attention to your surroundings. The cops can only repond to info WE give them. Try to spend at least one evening on your porch and make your presence known.
Also- before I get attacked for being insensitive. The perp was a crack head and told me he had been up for three days.
Right on, Paul…good for you.
I saw an officer riding a bike today and an officer on a motorcycle yesterday. Very encouraging.
If you have experienced a break in, or know someone who has, please call Shelby Long of CH Crimewatch and report the details of the crime – 648-2710. Shelby verifies all crime reports w/the police before sending out a recorded phone message to the phone numbers on her crimewatch list. call and put your name and phone number on her list today!
hi folks. my boyfriend and i are moving into the neighborhood on libby park next weekend and i’ve been trying to read as much as i can about church hill, which lead me to this great site. what a great resource.
needless to say, it’s very discouraging and a bit intimidating to see so much crime going on. i’m no shrinking violet, and lived in what was considered by some to be a transitional urban neighborhood in atlanta – but even i am apprehensive after reading the threads on all of the recent break-ins. using common sense about locking doors/windows/etc doesn’t seem to be enough in church hill. looks like an alarm is a must. fortunately, there is an alarm on the new house but i definitely plan to have it monitored. i guess my question is how many of you that have monitored alarms have experienced break-ins? i know there is no surefire way to prevent a break-in, but i am hoping that someone might go elsewhere when they see an alarm in place.
we’re looking forward to getting settled in the hood and hope things start to improve on the crime front.
In 4 years living in area more ragged than where most of the breakins are happening, we had the back door kicked in but the alarm scared them off.
FYI: I sent this message to the mayor and police chief and Delores McQuinn. Our break-in occurred Wednesday, August 22 on the 2300 block of E. Grace.
“Dear Mayor and Chief,
I have been one of the most enthusiastic boosters of this city you could want– moving from a west end suburb to Church Hill, where I have lived since 1969. There has been crime on and off. My family has worked hard, along with our neighbors and police, to clean up crime and blight for decades. We are feeling a bit betrayed.
Since mid-July, there have been dozens of home break-ins– most during daylight hours. We were burglarized this week… probably by the same person/people who ripped out a basement window unit ac about three weeks ago as we slept upstairs but (for some reason) did not come into the house. There have been several attempts on our block, and another neighbor (newly moved in) had their back door smashed in and their home burglarized. There have been multiple break-ins at homes with dogs and/or security systems. One person’s dog was beaten.
This week, the burglar(s) came back to our house and tripped the alarm but this time came inside some time between 8 am and 4 pm. In broad daylight… in full view from the street… ripping out a large ac… which was bolted to metal and wood.
Of course, we called the police both times. They showed up and were very polite.
We don’t see a police presence much any more. When there is a crime wave like this, why not dust for prints? (When asked about that a few years ago, an officer replied that we shouldn’t expect that… we watch “too much t.v.”)
Another neighbor in the Union Hill area worked closely with police for more than 10 years to clean up the crime in his area; he has now seen the open-air drug trade return– with a pusher who has been released after years in prison and has re-connected with his old buyers and sellers.
I have been hearing that the city is reporting that crime is way down and things are hunky-dory. We have worked to populate the core communities. Between the enormous property tax hikes and the rising crime, we are losing faith. We wish we thought somebody cared about the residents who support this city– financially and otherwise. All we see is in-fighting among our elected representatives and a reluctance on the part of city appointees/employees to speak up or challenge ineffective, costly policies. Will our property assessments be lowered as the crime and interest rates go up and the housing market reduces real estate costs?”
Good work, Melinda…and thank you on behalf of all of us for putting the word out to policy makers. I think there is a correlation between neighborhood crime and (here I go again) alcohol availability and consumption. You might want to review some previous CHPN posts about a ‘fight’ being waged in Union Hill against wholesale issuance – by the state of Virginia – of ABC licenses to sell alcohol: almost 1 per block up my way. People go into these stores to buy beer and chips and cigs and lottery tickets and a MULTITUDE of other people congregate near the stores’ front doors to sell the other stuff, including drugs and sex. The reluctance or inability to stem this (or any other) crime wave can’t be laid simply at the foot of Richmond’s government but goes all the way to the governor’s office.
Add me to this growing list of victims. We left for vacation on August 13 and our house was burglarized promptly that night. The thief used my enormous 40 ft. ladder (and had to maneuver it under a large tree) to break into the master bedroom. He grabbed a large amount of change I had in a jar, ransacked a couple of rooms, but apparently didn’t take much if anything else of value (we’re still taking an inventory). The alarm was set and he tripped it by leaving through the kitchen door.
The only thing we did differently as we left for vacation this time was to board our dog at a neighborhood business (you probably know which one) and notify the police that we’d be on vacation. The police say that they think that the perp must have seen us leave, but part of me wonders whether there might be somebody at the police station funneling information to the perps. How many, if any, of the other break-ins have been while the owner was on vacation? Had any of them filled out the police form that was mentioned in the other break-in thread?
Another question for the peanut gallery … isn’t this spate of crime bad enough that we need to start looking at putting up some video cameras in alleyways and such? Can the police do this or would this need to be a private endeavor?
I write this post with the sound of Edith Bunker going throuhg my head.
Archie – my house ws broken into back in Feb the first night I was on vacation. the purp kicked in my backdoor setting off my alarm. I did not alert the police of my vacation and truly feel that someone in the neighborhood saw my packing up the car.
I have sense upgraded my backyard with a 6 ft privacy fence w/deadbolt, additional lights in and out of the house, and chained down anything of value. My request for a permit to add a moat around the property was denied by the city.
on a side note…the state did issue me a conceal/carry permit for a trebuchet and has allowed me to mount a gatlin gun in sniper nests on the second floor.
I interrupted a slug burgulerizing my cottage last night around 11PM…..he was getting ready to go out the front as I was looking in the back door window and saw him. I confronted him on the front sidewalk and he ran after dropping the the antique Triumph bicycle and the loot he had gathered into a small black bag….a steak ,3 link sausages,2 cans of margarita mix ,some chapstick, 4 pairs of socks, reading glasses and about 60.00 in rolled quarters.He had apparently put my watch in his pocket for that wasn’t found. According to the police mine was the 3rd breakin by this guy that night….I got a good description of him that jived with others that night so it was the same guy.
He tried prying several doors on the side porch 1st…they must have been too much work , so then he tried several windows in between the buildings until he found one I had forgotten to lock a few weeks ago and crawled in over the sink.
This was something this guy had been planning and I gave him the means to enter my house by leaving a window unlocked…the alarm system worked when he left but due to a dog in the house I had failed to set the motion detector……neither of which will happen again.
Be alert….he had unscrewed the back porch lite giving him darkness to work in…the side porch light was off as well as he tried to jimmy the doors….these guys are typically lazy and if it had been the slightest bit more difficult he would have gone somewhere else.
It’s my fault but it won’t happen again
So keep your eyes open for a dark skinned black man about 5’10 180lbs with a definate squared jaw….clean cut and medium lenght hair cut in a square cut….especially if it’s late at night and he’s dressed in all black and riding a bicycle.
SO — are there actually more breakins occuring, or does it just seem like it because we know about them now?
No, there are more break ins occuring. There have been a rash of these things in the area but the police are working very hard to catch the suspect(s). Please be patient and until the suspect(s) are caught, lock your house, set your alarms and call the police for anything that is not right. You can make the difference in this guy being caught.
I spoke with an investigator the other day about the break in at my house. He told me that in the last 2 months there have been 48 break-ins in the Church Hill/Union Hill area. There have been a couple of descriptions that differ, so there’s a good possibility that there’s more than one guy out there. They think the perps may work together as day laborers in the area, giving them a chance to scope out targets in a wide variety of areas. The cops want these guys bad, but they’ll need as much help from the local homeowners and contractors as possible. The local contractors are really a key here, I think. The perps may be their employees. Or, they migh be able to notice something out of the ordinary during the day when most people are at work.
archie, i had the same thought. and guess what? the houses on either side of us are BOTH vacant and under renovation. this is good and bad. hurray for renovation, as there are lots of people around during the day, but if it’s the ‘wrong’ people, then not so good. ugh. on a positive note, i encountered two policemen on bikes yesterday cruising the neighborhood. encouraging.
In the past six months, I have had 2 neigbhors (one next door and one across the street) who were broken into. The most recent was across the street. He was out of town for the night and someone threw a chair through his back window. He has a security alarm, but his electricity was off due to some construction in the area. The perp took about $40 and not much else. He/she didn’t touch the laptop that was there.
My neighbor is taking it in stride, but has said to us that he will probably leave soon because he was also mugged earlier this spring. I feel really badly about this – we’re going to loose some great neighbors because of all of this.
Urban neighborhoods can offer alot for young professionals and working class types, but violent crime is not something they are willing to put up with for long. They can afford to move, and have the means to get out of the hood.
Most white folks in the neighborhood are from middle class backgrounds and lived in the suburbs growing up. Violent, intrusive crimes are not something they’re accustomed to, and I dare say, will not put up with for long before they pack up and move on.
I am just voicing what a lot of young, new residents are saying to me right now. They didn’t think that all this crime stuff would be part of their life up here on the Hill.
Just wanted to pass along a reminder to LOCK YOUR CARS!! I live on 32nd and E. Broad and witnessed walking down the street at 2 am opening all car doors looking for unlocked doors. Apparently she is stealing things from inside of our cars and then selling them at neighborhood yard sales (my neighbor found his CD’s there!). I called the police they were there in a few minutes going up and down the block. Like everyone else has said on this great page…make it hard for theifs to break in AND make your face and presence known!!
ya i think i saw that girl too. was she white with long brown hair and an FBI shirt on. I saw at 11 am saturday morning. she was walking up to cars and pulling on the door handles, but all the cars were locked….
Greetings from San Antonio TX y’all. Hopefully no one is casing this website…I’m indefinitely out of Church Hill and the way things are going with the crime wave, I’m liable to stay away, hiding out in my characterless gated community. My thanks go out to my neighbors and friends who are watching out for my “stuff” while I’m gone. Church Hill is great like that. Hopefully the governmental powers that be will get a freakin’ clue and put a little more police presence in the ‘hood. I have very mixed emotions about leaving Richmond, but I can honestly say that the recurrent crime issue put me over the top. I miss many things about C.H., but not the crime or the vagrancy. SATX is a city of 1.4 million and I haven’t been accosted by a bum or crack head yet (and I work in a not-so-choice area in Southtown) Oh yeah- don’t complain about the heat- I think that I may be living on the edge of Hell. Thanks for letting me rant… Peace out!
One thing that came to mind for the couple that boarded thier dog at the local business…they offer in home services as well so if you are nervous about leaving your house empty without the dog they can send someone over however many times a day to care for your animals as well as check on the house and get mail…having someone over there on the regular while away could be helpful as well as keeping fido comfy in thier usual surroundings.
Jack King gave the Friends of Jefferson Park an update on the recent break-ins at our meeting last night. The meeting was well attended and we were able to recruit several new block captains for the neighborhood. Our best defense against this type of criminal behavior is to build a community that looks after eachother.
While it may be true that “middle class white folks from the suburbs” arent used to crime, they also arent used to “building” a close knit neighborhood as a defense to criminal activity. In the City we recognize and value our neighbors as partners in bringing back a neighborhood, irregardless of their race, age or where they grew up. In fact much of the beauty of urban neighborhoods is the diversity of its people. While its easy to say that former white suburbanites are going to head out of Church Hill, it is a bit more of a challenge to recognize that suburbanites new to the City may need some training on building community in a diverse, urban setting.
I left the ‘burbs more than 30 years ago to settle in Church Hill. I am used to crime. I have personally chased “bad guys” off my back porch. My husband and I have dealt with multiple car break-ins, the theft of tools and toys, and one attempted burglary over the decades. (One of our neighbors caught the burglar in the midst of carrying a t.v. set through a front window he had broken to gain entry.) We have worked with the police to get drug sales off the streets and safeguard our neighbors’ homes. We always had keys for our neighbors’ houses and vice versa.
I have to reiterate that THIS crime wave is like nothing I have ever seen up here. In the past, not only did we know and talk with our neighbors, but we also knew and talked with the police– who patrolled by either walking with dogs or actually getting OUT of their cars and asking questions, getting to know who lived where and what was up. For the past 5 or so years, I have yet to see the same officer twice in my area. Things have changed… for better… and for worse. The old mantra “act locally, think globally” goes for our neighborhoods. ACT on YOUR block. Communicate with your neighbors. Know who they are and when they come and go. Be nosey! It’s the only way to live in the city in the 21st century.
We’re still hoping and hanging in, but we did take a break over the week end to feel safe in New York City for a few days. (Sorry to rant, but it’s cheap therapy…)
Some of you have stated that there isn’t enough police presence in your area. I’ve seen officers in cars, motorcycles and dirtbikes the past 3 days in a row. Have you or anyone in your particular area called 1st Precinct to request more police presence? It’s great to be able to post and communicate on CHPN but if you have a problem that you want the City of Richmond or the Richmond Police Department to fix, you have to notify them.
900 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Office: (804) 646-5348
Office: (804) 646-3012
Fax: (804) 646-5429
Council Liaison: Sam Patterson
Office of the Chief
2501 Q Street,
Richmond Virginia 23223
Lieutenant Jack King — Sector 111
Includes the communities of Union Hill, Oakwood, Fulton, Church Hill, Church Hill North and Chimborazo.
Make sure you tell the people that have the ability and authority to fix our neighborhoods.
Church Hill residents are the sqeakiest wheels in Richmond. I do not, however, have much confidence in our elected officials.
When I was driving to work this morning at 6:55 a.m., I drove past the corner of Clay and 31st Street. The corner was taped off, and there were a couple of police vehicles and an ambulance. Looks like there was someone lying in the street. My fiance just passed by (8:15am) and said they’re still investigating, and now there’s a crowd and many police vehicles.
I’m with ‘crown vic’ as far as getting any response from some elected officials, namely D.McQuinn (or her aide S.Patterson). Never a response from her to calls or emails. And I set up 2 ‘meeting’ appointments with Patterson and was stood up both times! Representation in this instance? Not a chance… In fact in an earlier post here on CHPN someone said, with pride, that if you earn more than the poverty level McQuinn doesn’t even recognize you as a member of her constituency!
WRT Nick’s post, I asked an officer what happened and he said that there was a fatal shooting, their case is developing well and they have two people in custody
Crown Vic and Ann….just remember…IT’S ELECTION YEAR! 😀 and they’ve been looking really ugly with all the fighting in the press…they need all the good PR they can get and helping the citizens of Church Hill would be a great way to get it.
The TD has some information on the Shooting on 31st. “Man shot to death during robbery”
I’ve been covering the murder on my blog today. I left a comment here earlier with a link but it’s held in moderation.
I am told that the shooting this morning is unrelated to the recent break-ins.
Last night our van was broken into and attempted to be stolen for the third time. It was locked and had a club on the steering column. They broke the driver’s side window and were able to dismantle the club – somehting that I’m amazed at, because you’re not supposed to do this – and yes, it was on right. I”ve been using the club for years.
They weren’t able to break the sterring column in order to steal the van, but that could be because someone came a long and they ran. at any rate, our van was towed to Island imports and is awaiting repair. Because of all of the vandalism and theft on this van it is not insured for comprehensive coverage and we will have to shell it out – probably several hundred dollars.
I’m going on a fourteen year resident, and like Melinda, I have never seen it so bad up here. And I live in the DMZ, not South of Broad in St. John’s. When I moved here we were one of the few white middle class folks on the block – there were maybe two others in a four block radius – still, not nearly as much crime as now.
In response to the Prince’s comment. yes, I’m one of the white middle class folks that moved up here, but I also created the Block Captain program, and trained you, and recruited people up in your area before you have taken credit for it.
I also chair a clean-up program that Jim and I have been doing for years. We’re very active in the community and volunteer hours and hours of our time to try to make this place better to live.
but enough is enough.
When the next housing boom happens, or there’s a break in this slump, we’re out of here.
Look at how many posts are on this thread! We are all so traumitized by this crap that this is one way to get through it.
I’ve been the do-gooder, the community activist, the pro-active one, and I feel it hasn’t done a damn bit of good.
Jim & I are now going to think about ourselves and our safety and welfare and do what we should have done a long time ago – get the hell out.
Go ahead Prince, bash me with your koom-bi-ya’s! It’s time for someone else to try to do the impossible.
This neighborhood will always be like this. 20 years from now it will be like this. We’ve fought the good fight – we’re ready to start over where the quality of life is better.. People will say “it’s not safe anywhere!” You’re wrong. There are plenty of places better than this!
So, doesn’t anyone else think that a concerted effort to deconcentrate poverty on the East End would not play a major role in fixing this mess up here? The burglars are breaking into our houses, risking arrest or getting shot, for what? Some change, soem basic transportation and food from the fridge! What we have here is a nice combination of abject poverty and its resultant sub culture, among some, that clearly disrespects important human values. Once our politicians understand that breaking up these enclaves of dispair, while good for the city and our neighborhood, would actually be better for the subjects involved (especially the kids), we might avoid all this class and racial politics. But then again, with some of these folks, without these politics, they have nothing really to offer save for empty symbolism. The root of these efective political calculations lie in the historical, but alive and well, culture of mistrust among african americans. This mistrust is real (and often earned), but is also unnecessarily inflamed (or in this case, ignored) by leaders in the community who do so for personal political gain. Perhaps we can engage some of the Churches up here to bridge this growing divide. I’d be more than willing to donate my time, my spare change, and spare food so that the folks who feel the need to break into a house to eat, can possibly lay claim to some dignity. A security and criminal justice approach to this problem will only get us so far (in other words, it merely deflects the problem to our nearest underprepared neighbor, or delays its occurance for a short stint in jail, where better burglary methods are no doubt freely disseminated)
Personal attacks are not constructive. We should hold the line against the criminals, not neighbors trying the best they can.
Bob, I do agree that deconcentrating poverty in Richmondâ€™s East End should help fix the mess weâ€™re all in right now. And dealing with a culture of mistrust among the disparate groups should help, too. There are at least 2 churches in the Church Hill/Union Hill area where meals are available at no cost. What else do you suggest and how do we get there?
You know how we can make things better? We can find the f***ers responsible for all the crime and lock their asses away for 30 years. That’d make me happy.
It is likely that there are only a handful of perps responsible for the rash of crime recently and they may very well be working together. Let’s concentrate now on finding them. If we put them away for a long time, we won’t have to worry about being victimized by them for a long time. And, maybe — just maybe — the next would-be criminal will think twice about it. Of course, maybe they won’t be deterred, but if they are the type of people that aren’t going to be deterred, we really need to make sure they are removed from the streets for a long, long time.
You want to implement a bunch of social programs to address poverty and all that? Fine. That’s OK with me too, but the criminals still need to be dealt with. And, I say we lay the hammer down on these scumbags.
Poverty smoverty…these people know they are committing crimes. The police should go 0 tolerance and lock everyone up. This stops the two bit criminal from advancing his career into murder and other mayhem.
Once the streets are safe, THEN start examining greater social evils. But as the system is now, everyone suffers. Poor people in suffer from crime just like middle class ones do.
You’ve all made some great points. I, too, have had a somewhat recent experience with crime in our area. My sister and I were robbed at gunpoint back in November. Luckily the man wasn’t on drugs because he probably would have blown us both away after I tried to get his gun – it’s amazing what adrenaline and survival instincts will do once they take over you.
I think that one of the reasons he picked us out was because of the vacant building adjacent to my sister’s house. It’s been vacant for years now. If the property owner would just sell it or do something with it rather than let it rot, then it would begin to generate more activity on the street (not to mention make money for the owner, boost our economy, increase tax revenue for the City, and give us another desirable and walkable destination within the neighborhood).
A multitude of people have expressed interest in purchasing the property but the owner has been difficult to reach and has made the claim that their spouse, the co-owner, is in jail. This has made it extremely frustrating for all of us because the building continues to create/evoke an environment in which transient behavior such as this will go un-noticed and without reprimand – aka the broken window theory. This cycle will continue until the negligent property owners are held accountable. I will admit, though, that there are a number of elderly, low-income households that cannot afford to maintain their homes. Perhaps we as neighbors can help.
It is my wish that the City would begin to intervene. Eminent Domain comes to mind, but that’s something that most localities won’t touch. Then there’s always the possibility that intervention by the City will lead to demolition of the property – something that most of us do not want to happen.
I don’t know how much longer this guy will be in jail, but it really irks me that we would need to wait for him to be released before something positive might happen.
As we all know, this isn’t the only vacant building that needs attention in the neighborhood.
My intention on this thread was just to point out that people who move to the neighborhood need to be active in building community with everyone that lives around them. And its different here than it is in suburbia. I have been here almost 20 years, not in the DMZ, but in a neighborhood that I love with neighbors of all colors and socioeconomic backgrounds that show me respect and look after me and my property. I think the implication that white middle class people are the victims and other folks are the perps is divisive and counterproductive in building community and fighting crime. Let’s face it, we are all in this together. I have been the victim of crime many times during my stay here, but I am grateful I havent lost the faith that my actions make a difference and that I dont resort to narrow minded remarks about people who may not have my skin color or share my socio-economic status.
All of us need to be on alert and do our best to help the police in catching this criminal. But let’s not resort to comments that divide our community and leave us more vulnerable to crime. Peace. -Cumbya
With regard to Laura’s comment that I have claimed credit for the Block Captain Program, give me a break. I called Laura to ask for information and she said she didnt have time for it because she was focused on the north of Broad historic designation. I then requested a sign up sheet from the police and tried (and will continue) to get Union Hill residents to sign up for their Block. When I have recruited a few more block captains, the police have agreed to do a training.
It is true that a few years ago you provided me with training and information on the Block Captain Program. You did a wonderful job and I am appreciative of your efforts. I truly thought you would welcome my efforts to recruit new block captains to support your initial efforts and make the program more effective and sustainable in the long term.
You did a great job of starting the block captain program, and I hope to be a part of seeing it grow and become even a greater deterent to crime. I am not trying to take credit for the program, but just promoting it where I believe it can do some good. Im not really a prince either. For the record. Peace.
How To Install A Home Security System, Southern Style
1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men’s used size 16 work
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo
magazine and your NRA magazines.
3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads:
Big Jim, Duke, Slim, and I went for more ammunition. Back in an hour.
Don’t mess with the pit bulls — they attacked the mailman this morning
and they messed him up real bad. I don’t think Killer took part in it
but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyways, I locked all four
of ’em in the house. Better wait outside. We be right back.
BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS…….
i very much agree with Bob Stokes on this one……it’s the culture of thievery that has been allowed to breed in the projects…a culture bred in poverty and despair and fostered by the governmental entitlement mentality that is created by the race brokers of this town…and you have seen them come and go for 40 years….
all I know of urban science is what I have learned in the last 3 years…..my neighbors ( black,white and other) and I share the same values……and that we are being assaulted by outside forces within walking distance. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out.
Prince/Bill: If you’re so pissed at me, why don’t you have some integrity and just email me privately, or call me. Smeer campaigns just make you look like a dope! Prince, indeed!
Ralph is EXACTLY right. I’ve watched conditions go up and down for years. As long as people who “have” want to pretend that the “have-nots” don’t matter or– worse yet– don’t exist in their world, any improvement in a diverse community will be short lived. Most people who live in Church Hill (rich, poor, and in-between) want the same thing– a safe, comfortable place to live, raise their children and/or spend their time. We want to improve the neighborhood for everybody– not just for those of us who are lucky enough to have a comfortable life situation.
We don’t need to have a bunker mentality. For that, there are plenty of gated communities around. We just need to work together, pay attention to one another and help the police catch the bad guys.
By the way, two more break-ins have been reported to the Crime Watch.
Laura: Im not pissed at you. I think you have done some wonderful things for the neighborhood and community.
I think I just have a different point of view that is my own. To disagree with someone in an open forum is not smeering, it is just a way to get ideas out in the open. We are a community that needs to come together to fight this recent crime wave. If stating my opinion makes me a dope – I wear the label proudly. And if calling someone a dope makes them look like a classy, intellectual charmer, then…
The bottom line is that we shouldnt be fighting eachother, we should do everything in our power to work together to build a cohesive community. Peace.
is this is accurate? – a repost from another thread:
I just got off the phone with my roomate who was up at Buzzy’s and said the police just caught the guy who’s been robbing all the houses in the area. He ran out there when he saw two undercovers chasing the guy and then 8 police cars swarmed the area. One of the officers said that he was the guy they’d been looking for so lets hope so!
apparently, they caught a guy breaking into some place in the 400 block of 27th street – haven’t confirmed this w/the police, so don’t quote me. anyway, it sounds like they caught someone that could be responsible for the break ins, but there could be more out there, so as always, just keep your eyes open and report anything you see!
Just had a visit from a detective. She said they have arrested a suspect in the recent spate of break-ins. Good news, indeed.
We still need to look after each other.
LAURA!….PRINCE!…..take it somewhere else please or John may have to spank us all!
Besides……its SMEAR not smeer.
If ya gonna insult someone spell it right at least.
From a dumb ole carpenter
Thanks ralph. But she spelled it wrong first. 🙂
As Laura stated earlier, she trained me to be a block captain. And the first lesson she taught was that together we can win this fight for our neighborhood.
Laura and I will probably never see eye to eye on everything, but I think each of us are working for the same thing- a safe, secure, well maintained, historic, neighborhood. We are much more similar than we are different. Peace.
Anybody else want a piece of this?
ralph on 22nd…thank you so much for the information on installing a Southern style security system. I not only found out why my home was broken into at the first of July (lack of such a system), but also laughed so hard I actually feel better! Your sense of humour is wonderful!
And folks about the spelling…it is really hard to blog without doing a spell check. Let’s not bicker, let’s gather together “en masse” and do something about this problem. I witness lots of all night porch parties near me and I am sure they are not just sitting on the porch being neighborly, but are more likely crack, or some other type of drug parties. I certainly DO avoid those “parties” as I do not feel very neighborly at that point, and am not going to put myself in a situation where someone may be arrested. Well then again, I haven’t seen anyone arrested yet. Maybe, I am just being judgemental?
avic2, if you think there’s drug use going on, call the cops! They can’t clean up this kind of activity (and the related crime) without witnesses like you tipping them off.
Hello. I could not help writing a fews comments… First, I am one of those “white middle class” folks that was referred to earlier. Guess what? That man that was murdered in front of my home this week was a black, 60 year old, working class gentleman. This is not about race. Please do not make it that. And, do you know why he was shot? Because he was being robbed, and he stood up for himself and his neighborhood, and for that he is dead. Please, please talk to your neighbors of all races and backgrounds. Do not stereo type any of them regardless of their income level, color, level of education… And, you know what? I have a college education, and I mispell a word occasionally and do not always use proper grammar. OOPS! P.S. Someone tried to pry my window open yesterday. Luckily, they did not succeed.
Actually, the police have been notified numerous times about the drug problem. You can always tell when there has been a score, as they are literally up all night long and are going to bed as I go off to work.
Personally, I do not care what color anyone is….stealing is stealing and murder is murder; growing up poor does not MAKE anyone do anything. If that were the case, well, I guess I would be out there stealing and murdering too. It is nothing more than an excuse for doing wrong and not taking accountability for one’s actions. The courts do little to enforce convictions, and if it is a minor we have been told not to waste our time; they will just get a slap on the hand and let go.
We are far too lenient as a society. I have been working since I was twelve years old and am still working forty some years later. I do not feel entitled to anything; I am happy to be able to work and provide for myself; one can have pride in that fact alone! Everything I have I have worked hard for and I resent the heck out of someone coming in and stealing my personal property because they grew up “impoverished and can’t help themselves.” I don’t think so!
I am all for patroling “OUR” neighborhood and would love to get together as a group and do something about this problem.
From all these posts it is evident that if we don’t do something, everyone will be moving out.
it is late but i just wanted to check the CHPN to see if any good had come from the crimes reports posted on this blog over the past couple of days. i’m not that encouraged by what i’ve read in some postings. people, the answer to this problem isn’t locking people up!!!! what about when those people get out of jail and try to find work??? it isn’t easy, if even possible! what kind of incentive is there to earn an honest living if no one is willing to hire you? i’m not saying that these people who robbed you need to be let off w/out some kind of punishment. however, please take a min. to think about the kids in this neighborhood – not OUR neighborhood, but THEIR neighborhood too!!! why not advocate for more funding for the city schools? why not volunteer as tutors? how very sad that we say ‘lock them all up’ without thinking about what leads people to commit crimes. once you give back ot the community, then you have the right to bitch about the shit that is taking place here. until then, you are only adding to the problem. sorry for pissing people off and preaching – but give an hour or two to the neighborhood every week. then, you might see why these kids grow up w/no hope and grow up to be adults, desperate enough to commit these crimes.
My house at 2604 East Broad Street was broken into during the day last week with 4 dogs in the house. The person litterally scared the crap out of them. We were finding presents all over the stairs. They took computers and bikes and left the refriderator door wide open along with going through lots of drawers. Then it sounds like they got one of the houses right across the street the next day. We have since heard that the perp was caught a few days ago involving several police cars, one of which ran into a house on 27th St. My mother hasn’t seen anything about it in the paper but it was on the TV news. He apparently lives over on Franklin Street. If anyone has heard anything else about this let us know. I was actually out of town on a ship while all of the happened so I am playing catch up.
Michela, not to be gross, but are you sure that it was your dogs’ crap? When I mentioned my break-in to someone the other day, they told me that it is pretty common for burglars to leave a … um … burnt offering on the floor or someplace else. As disgusting as that is, it provides an easy way to get the perps’ DNA.
Wow. I just got finished reading the read of this thread and feel rather silly with my little breakin update. I do feel the need to say this though. I moved here almost 6 years ago when my brother bought his house here in Church Hill. I moved in to his first floor appartment to help him work on it and FELL IN LOVE with this neighborhood, despite our house being broken into 4 times in a 6 week period. I was in the process of buying my house a few doors away while all of this was going on and I am still NOT SORRY. This is truly the finest community I have ever felt a part of. It’s terrible that we have to go throught these crime waves every few years, but that doesn’t change the great community of people we have here. Laura, I really hope you and Jim don’t leave us, you an integral part what makes this community great. I have never lived in a neighborhood like this where people actually care about each other or even know each others names really. You don’t get anything like this in the suburbs. I love our “Mayberry in the City”, despite some of the flaws!
Mary Ann, I felt the desire to respond to your comments. I have and will continue to give to my community on a regular basis. I have taught, tutored, donated, etc. I grew up in a middle classed home, but it was not rosey on the inside. There was alcoholism and abuse. If I became a criminal or did to my family what was done to me, I would be guilty of my wrong doings and only using my poor upbringing as an excuse. People need to freakin’ get over the fact that life happens. Each person has the choice to either become a waste to society or to suck it up and make the best of it. I have chosen to do my best. And, I will not stand back and say, “Oh, poor things, they have it rough.” Too freakin’ bad. They can do something about it. They do not have the right to harm others.
cb – sorry if i offended you(or anyone else), but i wasn’t suggesting anyone has the right to hurt anyone. i do think that we need to take a look at what leads kids to committ crimes as adults and attack the problem from that end. throwing people in jail isn’t going to do any good in the long term. i’d rather put my money toward improving the living conditions and educational opportunities for inner city youth, instead of paying to temporarily house people who committ crimes. they get out of jail eventually, and when they do they are an even greater threat to society than they were when they entered the system.
Hi all, I am considering moving into the Church Hill neighborhood (26th & Grace condos or Nolde Bakery). Being SWF, I am alarmed by the apparent crime issues with break-ins to home and car? Any thoughts?
sutton – I lived across from the Nolde Bakery on 25th ST for 4 years until last Oct. I had a break-in within my 1st 6mos there. The person most likely saw my ex moving out. I didn’t have an alarm or dog…hadn’t gotten to know my neighbors…was always at work and nearly had “rob me” as a welcome mat. The only problem I had since was some old guy peeing behind the trees. Church Hill is wonderful! The entire nation is dealing with a rise in crime but as you’ve seen on CHPN, Church Hill has neighbors who care enough to get involved.
thanks Heather for feedback. i think i would be in the same boat though with the “rob me” sign….I travel a lot with my job and work long hours when I am in town. I am new to Virginia and love the CH area. I think I am still in shock at the number of incidents reported. What seems to be a common thread is how many people have said ” someone must have been watching me pack the car…or saw ex move out…etc”. Someone’s clearly paying attention to the signs and I’d have a big one with all the travel I do.
Sutton, I wouldn’t worry about it too much at your condo. Has anyone heard of a break in at any of the loft condos/apartments at Tobacco Row? Sure, your car *might* be a target… but my car has never been touched in Church Hill and it was frequently broken into and/or vandalized when I lived on some of the “nicest” blocks in the west part of the City.
In many ways what you are seeing here is that finally we all have a place to post our crime complaints. No other area of the City has a forum like this. The late crime wave is certainly real, but many folks seem to post when they are in the flush of anger, which may add an overly alarmist tone to their complaints.
Frankly, my experiences in the Fan and west have been far more blood-curdling than here. Just remember that everywhere within City limits is pretty much an urban area and not a gated suburb.
On behalf of Laura Daab and the Church Hill Block Captain Program…and in response to the recent rash of break-ins, and to raise awareness of the effectiveness of community watch programs and increase the number of block captains in both Church Hill and Union Hill we offer the following training program for neighborhood watch Block Captains….
The training will be conducted by Officer Douglas Wacker, who is assisting neighborhood block captain programs.
Flyer Text is below:
Does your street have a Neighborhood Crime Watch Block Captain?
A block captain’s duties include helping your neighbors deal with crime, problem properties, trash, abandoned cars, animal control etc.
Block Captain Training
(For Old and New Block Captains)
Thursday, October 5th —- 7:00 PM til 8:00 PM
Parish Hall – Saint John’s Church – 2401 East Broad Street
Call Bill Conkle @ 649-3764 or firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer!
Sponsored by the Church Hill Association,
in cooperation with the
Union Hill Civic Association and the Richmond Police Department
Get involved! Sign up today! Renters and Homeowners Welcome!
‘m’….you made a very good point about CHPN providing us a unique opportunity for posting crime complaints! I’d hate to see the length of postings about this sort of stuff in other parts of Richmond.
Good Morning! I note to M.A. No apology necessary. I agree that education and training are the best way to discourage crime. I just do not want to hear that poor upbringing or living conditions are being used as an excuse. Oprah Winfrey is proof that it is not acceptable. And, I am amazed at the fact that everyone is so concerned about the robberies. A man was murdered in front of my home. Have I not become accustomed to the acceptance here? Yes, the robberies concern me. I have moved dressers in front of windows. I have motion detectors, alarms, lights, etc. But, a man died and no one seems to be very bothered about that incident.
cb — I’m not immune to the killing, but there is some distance: it seems so random, that I have a difficult time connecting. I walk by a spot every day where a senseless shooting happened, and I feel this one all of these months later.
As Bill stated above, there will be a Block Captain meeting coming up in early October.
This is a great opportunity for all of you to put your energies into DOING something about your neighborhood along with posting comments about it.
Nothing wrong with posts, but active participation is key. The Block Captain program is designed to help people help themselves – and not just about crime. There are a lot of issues in our neighborhood that go unnoticed/unnattended everyday such as abandoned cars, animal control issues, trash, weedy sidewalks, delinquent properties, unlawful signage, etc.
I’m sure many of you work very hard to address these issues. Becoming a Block Captain empowers an entire block to tackle these things. It’s not a perfect solution, sometimes it feels like a band-aid solution more than anything, but it’s better than nothing and does matter.
The program can give you the information your block needs to call the right people, take the right actions, follow through to solve problems.
There are currently about 30+ Block Captains in Church Hill, but because of the recent housing boom, I lost several good people – they need to be replaced, and we need to add more blocks to the roster.
As a Block Captain, you will be given a manual with a wealth of information about how to deal with most of the issues that affect our nieghborhood. You, in turn, will be given materials to give to your neighbors. If you don’t have one already, you can form a phone tree/email list that can be turned into Shelby Long so that your block gets on the Crime Watch phone tree.
I’d sure appreciate seeing some of you at the meeting, and hope that you will consider volunteering for these important jobs.
You may already have a Block Captain and not know it. I know, you’re thinking, “That’s silly, what good is it then?” It’s possible that you’ve moved into the neighborhood after a Block Captain was assigned, and they haven’t connected with you yet. It’s also possible that some of our Block Captains aren’t keeping up with their duties. That’s part of why we’re training again – to recruit and retrain old Captains.
Other obligations have kept me from having a meeting in a while, so some of the fault is mine. But if you would like to know if you have a Block Captain, contact me at my email with your block location and I will let you know. It will also let me know if the Captains are effective or not.
This is a CHA program but you don’t have to be a CHA member to be a Block Captain – you can even hate the CHA if you want to. But, the CHA does do many great things for this community, this being one of them.
I would like to repeat that this is a program that is designed to unite the neighborhood by empowering people to help themselves and their neighbors.
I have not heard of any break ins since the police arrested that guy last week. Is the hood once again safe? Or should I continue packing heat everywhere I go?
It is unfortunate that writing like this in such short blips can give folks the wrong impression of what is truly meant. I am just getting to read some comments after a time…
I thought “OUR” included “THEIR”. Isn’t “OUR” everyone? Some have taken it out of context and are making it sound like us against them, whatever that means.
It is true that I am not a liberal bleeding heart, and I do not believe in a social system that allows people to live off of the system; however, that does not mean that I haven’t given numerous people in rehab a second chance, and that would include drug addicts, convicts, alcoholics etc…. I have hired them. The only stipulation is that they stay clean and out of trouble. It is called being accountable for your choices. I am held accountable for the decisions I make every day, so how is that that some feel that does not hold true for everyone?
I too have a very busy schedule and travel a lot for work, but I will be at the meeting on October 5.
Is there a Block Captain for the 3000 block?
Laura – is there any way to post a list of the blocks that are not yet covered by a block captain – 2500 is covered now, but that is my block and the only one i know with a volunteer block capt.
sorry – i meant to say that the 2500 block of leigh st. has a block capt.
Just a thought about why people might be focused in on the robberies vs the shooting near Chimbo elem… I think it has to do with control, what we can and can’t do something about. While it seems of late that there is not much we can do to protect our homes from robbery we can try and that effort might make us each feel a bit safer. I also think it has to do with the continuum of crime and violence and the broken window theory. If 40’s can be thrown on the street, then does that make it ok to break into cars and peopleâ€™s homes If it is ok to rob houses does that make it ok or the norm to commit acts of violence? I guess it seems to be a slippery slope…and I have been encouraged by so many people in the neighborhood being outragedâ€¦when we are outraged we pay attention and take action. Hopefully this will lead to more block captains, school volunteers, youth mentors and of course neighbors watching out for neighborsâ€¦.
v, thank you so much for your response. That makes perfect sense. The murder, though horrific, was a one time incident and the thugs were caught. The breakins are continual and we can work to stop it. Thank you again.
I have requested that a meeting notice with a list of block captains be posted on this site. It should be available shortly. Otherwise you can email me for the notice & list.
As far as the impact of the broken 40oz on crime noted above, I would suggest that the drinking of the 40 would have a more immediate impact on crime than the means of disposal of the bottle (there is little scientific evidence on the broken windows theory. Some recent interesting scholarship used a natural experiment; that is, the relocation of former public housing residents to less disorderely locations. Turns out, even in largely suburban environments, relative propensities towards crime activity of these former PH residents was not reduced by these “nicer” locations. Mind you, there are still proponents of this program, but their evidence is weak to say the least. That said, if you see a broken bottle, pick it up, you could cut your foot on it. For a nice, (but getting dated) review of what works in crime prevention, see http://www.ncjrs.gov/works/ Long winded? yes, but they do what no one else has done in this area: summarize the SCIENTIFIC effectiveness of crime prevention efforts.
I should clarify my discussion of the research on HUDs Moving to Opportunity Program noted above. ADULT criminality was not diminished by relocation, not the case for juveniles. Yes, social science again stating the obvious: entrenched social and cultural orientations die hard. And at the risk of sounding like a Whitney Houston cover, poverty de-concentration is a long term program that should be evaluated as such: that is, by examining the outcomes of kids and kids-to-be. I guess, as an indirect ode to Ralph’s hound pup, my point might have also pulled in that schmaltzy Elvis Presley hit as well.
Good morning everyone,
I’m not sure if this comment has been made yet – the list has gotten rather long. My neighbor informed me that a woman has been going around and knocking on people’s doors. I’m not sure what she does if the people are home and answer, but my neighbor indicated that she appears to be doing reconaissance work in order to find out what time of the day people are away from home. Keep your eyes on the street when you can.
It’s that season again and even criminals want to give gifts to their families. Be smart. Lock up your homes and cars. Keep valuables out of site. Park in well lit areas and walk with others when possible. Let’s not make it easier to be victims.
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