Richmond officials say they've seen a huge increase in burglaries around the city. The first of four forums, designed to help educate the public on crime prevention, took place Monday night.
Burglars have broken into Modenia Black's car twice, and she says thieves have stolen from several homes in her East End neighborhood. "They have no conscience. They are breaking in on the older people that can't defend themselves, and it makes you want to take up and make sure that what you have is secure," Black told 27 Newsfirst.
Richmond Police say a recent spike in thefts and burglaries prompted them to hold this series of public forums. Like many of the attendees, Deana Caldwell says she learned several tips she plans to put in place immediately. "I'm going to make sure that I trim my bushes," Caldwell said, "I'm going to make sure that the lots that don't have homes on them in our subdivision are mowed more regularly, and I'm going to ask everyone to start keeping their lights on in our community."
Richmond Police presented dozens of preventive steps homeowners can take to minimize their risk of becoming victims, but Chief Larry Brock says perhaps the best thing people can do is be good neighbors. "One of the primary points we want to make is to get people in the neighborhoods to watch out for each other, to notice when there's somebody suspicious in the neighborhood or around their neighbor's house," Brock said.