Henrico police are investigating series of break-ins they believe targeted women
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) -
Henrico County Detectives believe women were targeted in several recent car thefts in the West End. Police responded to 8 incidents at the two YMCAs and at Deep Run Park in just one week.
Police say in most cases the cars were locked, but the suspects broke windows to get in and steal valuables.
"It's just scary to think that people are watching you when you get out of your car,” said Catherine Keiper, who frequently runs at Deep Run Park.
Henrico officials say the thieves are waiting for women to leave their cars without a purse as they head to work out.
“I leave my purse in the car. I have my keys and I have my phone,” said Betti Lavos, a Chesterfield resident who works out at Deep Run Park.
“My car keys and my iPhone, so in my car I leave my wallet, credit cards and stuff like that, said Anna Beecroft, a YMCA member.
Police say 8 break-ins happened in a week, most involving locked cars that have had their windows smashed open.
“It’s definitely surprising seeing as we live in a really nice area. It's not something I expect, it's not something I would worry about before. I lock my car but I don't do anything extra,” said Beecroft.
In many of those cases, the suspects tried to use credit cards or checks that the victims had inside the car. For that reason, police suggest you leave those things at home. All you really need to bring is your license, and if you absolutely need a credit card or wallet, make sure you bring it in a purse or backpack when you work out.
“Definitely going to be a bit more cautious and kinda looking over my shoulders to make sure I've taken the proper precautions,” said Keiper.
“I’ll definitely be thinking twice and bring my stuff in with me next time,” said Beecroft.
“I probably won't even bring my purse now that you said that. Because they might break the window to get the purse that has nothing in it,” said Levos.
Henrico police have been in contact with other jurisdictions to see if they've seen any similar patterns in the break-ins, and that's all still under investigation.
They do have two possible suspect vehicles: A dark SUV and a dark sedan, both with out-of-state license plates.