String of armed robberies near VCU worrying residents

Crime

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A string of armed robberies has students and residents around Virginia Commonwealth University wondering if they could be the next target.

“You would never think that there’d be that many in as short a period of time as this,” said Steven Levin, who frequents the VCU area.

Following reports of three armed robberies within a 30-minute span last Friday, police say another armed robbery took place Monday.

UPDATE: Latest armed robbery near VCU falsely reported, police say

Shanna Brandt walks throughout the VCU area and told 8News “it is a little more nerve-wracking cause that means it could kind of happen anywhere.”

VCU Police said three of the four reported robberies occurred in the area of Floyd Avenue, Birch at West Franklin and Morris at West Cary between 10:45 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.

Victims reported to police that they were walking or standing outside when a gray Mazda sedan with three men inside pulled up next to them. That’s when police say someone pointed a silver gun at the victims and stole their wallets, phones, and keys.

“It’s very concerning to see that you know people could just come up on the street, drive by in a car with a weapon and take your wallet and keys,” Levin said. “They could even participate in more nefarious activities if they wish to.”

According to police, a fourth incident occurred around 2:40 p.m. Monday in the area of North Monroe Street. Two men reportedly approached a woman, pointed a dark handgun at her and stole her belongings.

Brandts told 8News she believes that poorly lit areas could be the blame.

“I feel like it definitely happens a lot on the darker streets and then there are definitely opportunities where like there’s not as many people around, and so you have to be aware of that too.”

VCU Police gave the following description of the subjects:

  • The first suspect is described as a black male wearing a gray hoodie (sweatshirt) and who was carrying a dark-colored handgun.
  • The second suspect is described as a white male, between 25 and 35 years old, who was shorter in height than the first suspect. He had light-colored facial hair and was wearing an orange hoodie (sweatshirt).

No injuries have been reported.

Police have increased patrols in the area. Anyone with information is asked to contact CrimeStoppers.

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