City-wide crime meeting to unite Richmond neighbors - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

City-wide crime meeting to unite Richmond neighbors

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Police say someone held up three people overnight at a home on Fairmount Avenue and took off with a cell phone and cash. Now, officers are focusing on communities all over Richmond to equip neighbors with tools to fight back.

Officers say you don't have to just sit home and watch crime continue to happen where you live. Instead, they say you can play an active role in organizing and fighting back.

Ricky Love of Richmond is just learning what happened down the street. He's concerned but not surprised.

"Not really…it's not an everyday thing but it does happen," he said.

Overnight - police say a robber stormed into one of Love's neighbors' homes not far from Mosby Court. The armed man knocked on the door. When the resident answered, the crook busted in - held up three people inside and took off with a cell phone and cash.

"Sometimes crime happens in waves so you never know when something might come to your neighborhood," said Officer Paul Lewis.

It's why he is organizing a city wide neighborhood watch meeting next week. Officer Lewis wants people who live in Richmond to know crime can happen in any neighborhood and that neighbors can help prevent it, specifically- by forming watch groups.

"I think that we could do better…We want to get those groups to reactivate and become active in their communities," he said.

Right now Richmond has about 70 active neighborhood watch groups, but officers would like to see around 100 to adequately take back the city from criminals.

"The city is changing. Every week people are moving in and people are moving out," Officer Lewis added.

So with new eyes and ears forming and banding together - police say everyone can be a little safer. Especially with the holidays approaching - thieves are looking for easy targets.

"I want to look out not just for my neighbors, but my family, my kids. I want it to be a safe place for everyone," Love said.

The city wide neighborhood watch meeting will take place Wednesday, November 20 at 200 W. Grace Street at 6:00 PM. Anyone can come especially if you're determined to make sure your community is safe.

Neighbors are asked to call the police department in advance to sign up to attend. The number is 804-646-7179.

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