Church Hill residents concerned after string of car thefts

Crime
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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A string of car thefts in the Church Hill neighborhood is leaving residents concerned they could be the next. 

Imagine parking your car outside your house one night, locking it, and then waking up the next morning to find it’s not there. That horror has happened to at least two people in Church Hill. 

“It’s a sick feeling in my stomach really,” said Church Hill resident Darren Saxton. “It’s just a shame.”

Darren Saxton is one of those victims. Sunday morning started out like most others until Saxton stepped outside. 

“Opened the door,” said Saxton.  “And realized my car was missing. Happy Sunday.”

After searching the neighborhood, Saxton reported the missing white 2017 Mazda CX9 to Richmond Police. 

He caught surveillance video of a man in a hoodie stealing his white Mazda around 3 a.m. on Sunday. 

Saxton says his car was locked, and in the surveillance video, he saw people standing around it before the lights came on and driven away. 

“About 40 seconds later I saw the rear lights come on and the vehicle was taken away,” said Saxton.

A few blocks up the neighborhood, a silver BMW was stolen. The owner also says they locked it.

Neighbors told 8News that in the last two weeks, they’ve seen a spike in car crimes throughout the area.

But for Saxton, he says this is just a huge inconvenience in a neighborhood he believes is very safe.

“Everything takes time and you obviously have to think about ok what am I going to use in the meantime as a vehicle to get to work get home to run around,” said Saxton.  “It’s just a huge inconvenience.” 

Saxton told 8News Richmond police found his car around 4 a.m. on Tuesday with marijuana and condoms in the car.  

“It’s a sign that everyone needs to be diligent on locking their vehicles or making sure they don’t leave personal items in the vehicles, and everything like that,” Saxton said. 

Richmond Police are still looking for the suspect. 

The department reminds you to lock your vehicles and never leave the keys in the car with it running unattended. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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