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Crime

Respecting Richmond and Church Hill – Local Storefront Held at Gunpoint

Featured Image: Madison + Main

Owning a business, especially retail, requires you to have a sense of trust in your community. Though we live in a city, and in ever-growing Church Hill, we all expect a certain amount of respect and safety when we leave our homes. Going to see our neighbors, getting our hair cut, treating ourselves to a meal are all activities that should feel safe. So when we heard that a local storefront was held up at gunpoint, we were concerned. We’re not naming the storefront at the request of the owner for safety reasons and while there’s an active investigation. But suffice it to say, some money was lost, threats were made, and the establishment now feels a little less confident in the security of the neighborhood. Here’s a quote from the owner,

Being open to the public means we welcome every person who walks through our door. We now have a little more caution. I hate that, but our spirits aren’t broken and we will continue to do what we do. Next time you shop local, thank the person behind the counter.

This is sad stuff but thankfully it doesn’t happen often, at least not commonly in the Church Hill area. However, since the summer started there’s been an increase in petty crime and nonfatal shootings just as violent crime drops by 2% in the city. If you’re active in social media, you’ll note a theme of frustration from neighbors as cars and bikes are stolen and break-ins become common because “it is the summertime”.

It’s interesting to note that property crime also rose in 2017, though marginally by 1 percent, bringing overall major crime about even with 2016. There were 55 more crimes, less than 1 percent, reported in 2017 than 2016.

Perhaps to continue to get ahead of the crime wave, just about 12 hours ago, the City of Richmond announced its re-launch of the “Respect Richmond” program. Here’s a short blurb on the resource:

The campaign, which launched in September 2017, uses “innovative marketing and advertising strategies to target anti-violence and anti-retaliation messages to those at highest risk of committing gun violence or being a victim of gun violence, and the broader Richmond community.”

Check out the site here: http://respectrichmond.com/community-resources/

As always, if you see something, say something.

Call Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers

Submit a Crime Tip Online

If you see or suspect that violent crime, an illegal gun, or drug and gang activity are taking place in your neighborhood, the worst thing you can do is say nothing. No matter how big or small it is, your information about gang activities and street gang crimes in your neighborhood is a valuable tool for police to use in the fight against gang violence in Richmond.

In some cases, your information may even save a life!

If you have a tip about gang activity, illegal guns, drugs, crimes or violent crime, or suspected gang members in your neighborhood, share that information with police through Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers. It’s 100% anonymous and your tip may even be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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10 comments

Kimberly Ann Paulsrud
Kimberly Ann Paulsrud 06/14/2018 at 1:37 PM

Disheartening….

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crd 06/14/2018 at 1:39 PM

I heard gun shots last night around 11 – 11:15 p.m., two series of three each, and yes I called 911. I could not be sure where I heard them, as I was facing south of Broad and thought they came from Grace or even Franklin, perhaps around 25th or 26th, all are close to where I live. Anyone else hear anything? I’m curious.

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HW 06/14/2018 at 1:41 PM

While i respect and acknowledge your conveying the wishes of the subject property owners. It would would seem the ambition of this site is to distribute news to and about the neighborhood. I’m as alarmed as anyone in the neighborhood, but would submit that the answer to that alarm is clear and direct information. Please reach out to RPD to supplement any information that victims may be uncomfortable sharing but may hold probative value to neighbors and friends.

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BAF 06/14/2018 at 3:43 PM

At some point we need to crack down, not make ads. These crimes are escalating in frequency and in seriousness. What’s next? An assault? Another murder?

Today the city announced a new coliseum. I don’t need a place for concerts. I need safe streets, decent roads, and good schools. Instead of wasting time with the Intermediate Terminal, The Pulse—which hurt many local businesses due to planning ineptitude or building a train shed that costs the city about $1 million in maintenance while being largely empty, why isn’t the laser focus of this administration on stopping crime, fixing the streets and improving schools. City Hall fiddles while Richmond falls apart. And we’re left holding the bag.

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bill 06/14/2018 at 6:54 PM

you get what you vote for

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John Thompson 06/15/2018 at 8:42 AM

when the schools let out for the summer the kids have nothing to do so they form groups and go out to get in mischief, crime, etc. With the literally hundreds of millions of dollars in the City budget for schools and hundreds millions more from the new meals tax you’d think the school administration would be able to come up with something to occupy these kids during the summer. And really at this point the school year should go year round oh wait a min that’s right silly me the school administration is all on vacation for the summer

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Eric S. Huffstutler 06/15/2018 at 9:57 AM

I believe I know which establishment and it is too close to home. When we first moved to Church Hill in 1999, it was still riddled with crime and boarded up houses. Gun running, prostitution, drugs, drive-bys, etc… Hearing gunshots were a way of life and even had one through a living room window. During holidays, it sounded like a Vietnam battlefield. Fortunately, through gentrification, heavy crime was pushed out of the area and things grew for the better but it seems like little by little, there is a spike of the “old” Church Hill starting back up for whatever reason?

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Johnathan 06/15/2018 at 10:14 AM

This says it all though, “the school administration would be able to come up with something to occupy these kids during the summer”.

It’s not the governments responsibility to raise and entertain children. All of the problems in our community come from a lack of parental involvement.

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ADB 06/15/2018 at 11:51 AM

#6 There is something. It’s called summer school. There are also numerous summer camps / programs offered by non – school entities. But summer school, unlike regular education, is not compulsory. So if a parent doesn’t take advantage of these opportunities you’d like the school to do what exactly? Also I’m not sure what school system you are speaking of at the end of your comment but all administrators at my school as well as the custodial and clerical staff are 12 month employees so we work in the summer.

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25th Street Michael 06/16/2018 at 5:46 PM

I dont think school is out is a reason for crime to spike. Its the way people are raised or the background they come from. And gentrification is a poor excuse. Crime happens everywhere. And I agree…a new billboard isn’t going to do anything.
People do it. Get away with it. And do it again. Period.
Its the society we live in. Show up with a gun or another weapon, bully someone and your crime is accomplished. Then they go back and brag about it. All of a sudden they are a local thug hero. White or black.
Ill say one thing, if someone breaks into my house while I’m home, there will be a fight.
When we stand up to protect our property things will change.
I do love living in Church Hill, but I knew what I was getting into when I moved here. Funny enough gunshots are now just background noise. Like the police that just passed…

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