RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond resident returned home to find someone had used their kitchen and bedroom.
8News spoke with West Grace Street residents who said the historic buildings and proximity to Downtown were the selling points for the neighborhood. But they say they stay on the lookout for crime.
“We have quite a few people who go through our trash because there are a lot of apartments back here,” Raquel Bobby said. “A lot of people share our alley. So they’ll throw furniture and all kind of stuff so people like to dig through that.”
VCU Police said a break-in was reported on the 1100 block of West Grace Street near VCU’s campus between July 18 and the morning of July 22.
Nothing was stolen, but the kitchen and bedroom had been used. The backdoor to the apartment was found unlocked with the window smashed.
“Maybe somebody just wanted to get out of the heat. It’s been really hot lately and muggy. So maybe somebody didn’t have a place to go and was like hey let me pop a squat here and cool off for a little bit,” Bobby said. “Maybe they had good snacks.”
As of now, there are no suspects.
Another breaking and entering case was reported in the area Monday. The victim said that between July 19 at 5 p.m. and July 22 at 1:46 a.m., someone forced entry into an office located at 821 West Franklin Street through a broken window. There were items reported stolen at the time of the report.
Ellen Le told 8News that she’s been robbed five times, so this case hits close to home.
“Bring all of your valuable items up to your bedroom and you lock your bedroom,” Le said.
Richmond Police are actively investigating both cases.
VCU Police shared some key reminders to keep students and community members in the area safe:
- Always ensure all doors and windows are locked.
- Do not hide keys on the exterior of your residence or share access codes to keyless entry doors. Burglars know where to look and people share information.
- At houses, install good lighting to light the pathways (front and rear) of the home. Utilize inexpensive timers to operate the lights, giving the appearance of undeterminable entry and exit times. The use of motion lighting will deter loitering and the “lay in wait.”
- Refrain from posting your whereabouts on social media. People following you on those sites may take advantage of your absence.
- Install exterior motion lighting to deter trespassing and draw attention to movement on the property.
- Going away for a while? Ask a trusted person to collect your mail or suspend mail service delivery to your residence. The pile-up of mail lets criminals know you are not there.
- Keep shades or curtains drawn after dark.
- “Case” your residence the way an intruder would and look for ways to enter your residence.
- Install deadbolt locks on exterior doors.
- Trim trees and shrubs near windows and doors so intruders can’t hide in the shadows.
- Look out for your neighbors; immediately report suspicious people and activity to police.
They also encourage VCU students who live off-campus, who are going on summer vacations, to ask to be put on the vacation watch list.
Read the full alert HERE.