Richmond police have increased patrols at the Monterey Pines housing complex after eight trespassers were found loitering in the basketball court area last week, including a man in possession of a loaded gun.
The enhanced police presence is also connected with an uptick in gun violence in central Richmond in recent weeks, as some of the individuals believed to be associated with the criminal activity are connected to the Monterey Pines Apartments, located at 680 S 37th St., Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said Monday.
On Thursday night, three patrolling officers spotted eight men in the basketball court area who they said were clearly not about to play basketball. Officers learned none of the men resided in the complex and thus were prohibited from being there. None of the suspects lived in Richmond, Abetkov added.
Since Monterey Pines has a history of criminal activity, strict rules have been instituted regarding non-residents.
“Because it is considered crime-free housing…people who do not live on the property or are visiting a guest have to be inside the apartment or accompanied by the guest,” Abetkov said. “These guys were just hanging out.”
During a pat-down, officers found a firearm in the waistband of one of the men, police said. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. The gun was a loaded 9 mm Ruger that had been stolen from a home burglary, police said.
That incident, along with recent shootings in central Richmond, have prompted the Richmond Police Department to focus more resources at Monterey Pines.
“They are stepping up patrols because of the past history with that complex,” Abetkov said.
On March 1, 20-year-old Richmond resident Keven Hall was killed and two others injured at 15th Street and Bissell Avenue. Police are currently searching for these two suspects in connection with the homicide.
A few days after that incident, two people were injured in separate shootings in the 1900 block of Chanslor Avenue and at 17th and Ohio street, police said.