Richmond police are concerned about an increase in residential burglaries in the city’s northern neighborhoods, particularly since 15 firearms have been stolen from homes since January.
Five of the stolen firearms are assault rifles, police spokeswoman Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.
Police officials could not immediately provide the exact number of burglaries since January, but Abetkov said there’s been a “large increase” in the Northern Police District (see map below). In response, property crime detectives on Wednesday conducted compliance checks on parolees with convictions for burglary-related offenses. While there were no burglary-related arrests during the compliance checks, detectives were able to develop some leads on the recent rash of break-ins, Abetkov said.
Police have also stepped up patrols in the northern neighborhoods and are distributing fliers and pamphlets.
Residents are encouraged to report suspicious activities, Abetkov said, adding that some locals have been reporting such activity in their neighborhood blogs rather than calling police.
“Don’t blog about it, call it in,” Abetkov said. “Don’t feel you’re putting us out. It’s our job.”
Residents concerned about their home’s security are encouraged to call the police department. Officers will go out to homes and provide advice on locks, alarms and more simple security measures, such as installing window screens or cutting back hedges.
If you have valuables and firearms, lock them up in a safe, Abetkov added. And residents are encouraged to call police dispatch to let them know when they’re going on vacation and who is allowed to be in their home while they’re away.