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East End News

Anybody else experiencing weird strangers hanging out in their backyards?

I’m at 32nd and Clay; pretty obvious somebody came into my backyard for a stint last night and hung out drinking beer and smoking cigs. There’s a bunch of loose change (thanks, I guess?) and a smashed cup, bottle tops and a pack of American Spirits.

Seems like they jumped the fence and enjoyed a quiet time on my porch for a while. Super creepy.

I woke up around 2am to a car alarm going off outside my house – not my car – thought it was weird, but in hindsight maybe it was related? Anybody else experiencing weird strangers hanging out in their backyards?

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Justin S 01/17/2017 at 11:19 AM

Adding onto this. My tenants car was broken into last night on 32nd and Clay. Police report was filed. Definitely related.

Myke 01/17/2017 at 12:02 PM

I’m on 31st and Clay. Both my fence gates facing the alley and the front yard were opened last night. Someone definitely came through.

JessOfRVA 01/17/2017 at 1:30 PM

Yes! It wasn’t last night, but it was a few weeks ago. They started a fire in my fire pit and left some of their marijuana and paraphernalia behind.

Brian 01/17/2017 at 2:07 PM

It’s happened to me once on the 500 block of Chimbo. We moved in last June and right before we moved in, somebody had a hell of a party in our backyard. Cigarette butts, beer cans, bottles, fence left wide open.

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/17/2017 at 3:36 PM

Let’s just hope it is just a homeless person seeking a place to be overnight and not a dangerous person. But a party of them is a bit disturbing.

Kathleen Sanders
Kathleen Sanders 01/17/2017 at 3:55 PM

I woke up at approx 1:40 am bc there were 2 guys outside my house trying the doors on my truck. Others had obviously spotted them bc the police rolled up while I was still calling it in. The guys were super casual, didn’t run even tho they knew they’d been spotted, just kept walking down the road trying other car doors and looking in people’s yards. The police looked high and low for a while but didn’t seem to find them. Last seen heading north in the 400 block of N 32nd. I suspect they probably laid low by hiding in your back yard. I agree that it’s super creepy. I found it creepy the way they were totally unconcerned about the possibility of the police arriving. They are def seasoned. Oh, and they were dressed in all black and had the hoods up on their jackets and cinched tight – no identifying them in video.

Sara Silverness-Clark
Sara Silverness-Clark 01/17/2017 at 4:53 PM

What the fuuuuuuuuuu! This is nuts! I do not like this!

Leslie Basinger
Leslie Basinger 01/17/2017 at 8:24 PM

We are local in Church Hill and have cameras all around. If you want a camera system installed, please call Randy at 804-699-0000.

Leslie Basinger
Leslie Basinger 01/17/2017 at 8:33 PM

And post a no trespassing sign. After we caught a guy stealing and have video, the cops failed to prosecute because we didn’t have a sign posted. True.

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/18/2017 at 12:01 PM

@9 Leslie Basinger… yup, got to have signs up.

Ben 01/18/2017 at 12:26 PM

For what it’s worth, back around October my car was broken into at the corner of 33rd and Clay. It was parked on the north east side of Clay. I now only park in front of windows of houses, as my car where it was wasn’t facing any windows.

The weird part was that there were a few things they could have stolen from my car, but they didn’t. It’s almost as if them breaking in and seeing my car was a push button start combined with the alarm going off made them change their mind. It didn’t even look like they attempted to look through the car at all.

R. 01/18/2017 at 1:11 PM

So Eric and Leslie, if I am understanding you two correctly, an individual enters a property and commits a crime, can not be prosecuted? Therefore, a homicide, or burglary, or theft are not prosecutable offenses without a “no trespassing sign”? Has no one ever been prosecuted for crimes committed on a property without a no trespassing sign?

Leslie your case if more than likely a result of identification issues. You have to positively identify an individual who committed the offense, and it has to be done with enough confidence that the C.A. can prosecute the case. People are caught all the time on camera committing crimes but go unprosecuted because of identification issues.

18.2-121: It shall be unlawful for any person to enter the land, dwelling, outhouse or any other building of another for the purpose of damaging such property or any of the contents thereof or in any manner to interfere with the rights of the owner, user or the occupant thereof to use such property free from interference.Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Ano Ali 01/18/2017 at 1:19 PM

I live in eastview, I don’t live in the Chimborazo area of churchill, as I can tell by alot of the residents who posted comments. In eastview, this rarely happens, I assume because this area is low, to mid income.But regardless of the income level of the neighborhood, alot of the neighbors on my block of Conrad street, we watch each other’s homes. A few years ago when I moved into my house, three young males, they had to be teenagers, were in my back yard. I went outside and told them to get the “fuck” out of my yard; they apologized and left. Excuse my language. A few months ago, some teenagers were knocking on peoples doors and running away, and I chased them out of the neighborhood. My advice to you anyone worried about people in your yards-if you see them, you have to stand up to them and tell them directly to get off of your property. Some people are like bullies, and they’ll keep on littering in your yard if you don’t stand up for yourself. I don’t like calling the police unless it’s an emergency, and situations where it’s young kids running through people’s yards, I can handle myself. And John did you get my email?

John M 01/18/2017 at 2:04 PM

@ano – yep!

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/18/2017 at 6:37 PM

@12 R, you have the correct code citation but would also be 18.2-119.

Lawyers state there are 4 ways to enforce it: by oral request by a person in authority, by written request by a person in authority, by a posted sign in an area where it may reasonably be seen, by court order pursuant to specific code sections, even if the order is ex parte.

Obviously, unless you know where the trespassers live, two of the ways will not work and unless you are there to see it, another is of no use either. That leaves the No Trespassing sign. Then, if you catch them in the act with the sign posted, you have more solid grounds to prosecute.

Signs will also help you with Home Owners Insurance. Example… if you have things like ponds or swimming pools in which kids could slip by to gain access and drown or get hurt.

Bryan Brodie 01/18/2017 at 11:05 PM

@ano, If I was by myself. I personally would not confront three strangers on my property

Maybe if I had a mean dog, or perhaps if I was armed, but then I might be opening up a potential world of hurt for all concerned.

I’d be more likely to shine a bright spotlight at them and then call the police, and make sure I had security cameras recording all around.

Property is not worth dying for, IMHO.

R. 01/19/2017 at 9:19 AM

My post was about Leslie’s case. She said an individual was arrested for theft but was not prosecuted because the lack of signage for trespassing. This is not possible; if so, then every crime I used an example of previously, while drastic, could not be prosecutable if “no trespassing” signage is not posted. To use current news to further my point, do you think the victims of Ricky Gray had a no trespassing sign, or the couple in Petersburg that was just abducted from their home? Probably not, therefore, her story is not true about “no trespassing” signs. I was merely making the point to ensure that you and her do not confuse the subject matter of this post with your personal gripes about prosecution of other crimes.

18.2-119 is entirely different than 18.2-121. 119 is for trespassing when signage or other warning is already posted. So you are correct in that a sign will allow for prosecution of an individual who simply walks onto and remains on a property without prior consent. But I used code 121 to point out that if these individuals are entering properties and using the contents of that property, porches and fire pits as referenced previously, then it can be articulated that by using such property they are impeding the owner’s ability to use such property and using the property in a manner (at night) to avoid interference/confrontation. I will admit that a CA may not take the case based solely on the merits that have been provided, but these individuals are committing a crime whether signs are posted or not

k 01/19/2017 at 9:47 AM

Friday night (I believe) had a white male with a red beard squatted out behind my building. N23rd and Leigh. He was smoking a cigarette and looking on his phone. Had a bike with him. My dog spotted him before I did. He was friendly enough just kind of weird that he was just sitting in the alley


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