Thief targets West End homes - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Thief targets West End homes

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond Police are issuing a warning as they investigate several home break-ins in the Far West End. Detectives say this thief is hitting neighborhoods that have not traditionally been targets of this kind of crime.

"I think he was a professional, is a professional thief," said one victim who asked us to hide her identity. "We were gone for no more than 40-45 minutes in the middle of the day."

It happened in broad daylight when anyone can see what's going on, however, no one witnessed the window of her home being smashed.

"I walked in the home to advise my husband of that and he said ‘we've been burglarized,'" she recalled.

This woman knows several of the at least five other people who have become victims. They've been talking to each other and to police. They estimate the jewelry, silverware and other items taken total more than $100,000. Detectives tell us it appears a large chunk of the burglaries are connected.

In one case, a neighbor believes she spotted the thief making his getaway.

"The description that person gave was of a Caucasian male in his middle age, who looked like he was a workman," the victim relayed. "The assumption was he was a workman and he had a reason for being where he was."

Now, the people in the neighborhoods are starting to question everything. For their part, Richmond Police are also stepping up their efforts.

"We have increased patrols in those areas," said Det. Heather Truong. "Detectives, as well as plain-clothes officers have been through the area. We are speaking with victims and neighbors."

While they can't give an exact reason for the shift to a new neighborhood, officials say it seems thieves had found a "soft target."

Richmond Police are hoping a problem-solving workshop will help with some of these issues. They have one planned for September 6th at Mary Munford Elementary School.

In the meantime, if you see anything out of the ordinary or something that appears suspicious, police want you to call them so they can come and check out exactly what's happening.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved

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