City police could knock on your door for a “Wake-Up Call”

Posted at 11:30 PM, Apr 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-09 23:47:11-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) --You could get an unexpected knock on the door from Richmond Police.

While no one wants to wake up in the middle of the night to a police officer knocking on the door, the RPD has a new program they hope helps cut back on crime.

“I would be afraid I was about to go to jail like, ‘Why would a cop be knocking on my door?’” said Nina Lekwuwa of Richmond.

But after a rash of 20 thefts from cars parked on the street in the past month, Richmond police are starting a new "Wake up Call" initiative in certain city Neighborhoods.

“We're basically targeting the vehicles that are out on the street; looking into the vehicle seeing if there is anything of value,” said Lt. Brian Corrigan of the Richmond Police Department.

Corrigan is the sector lieutenant that came up with the idea after police noticed a recent spike in car break-ins.

Officers will run the license plate of a vehicle with valuables that are visible to see if the vehicle is registered to an address nearby.

If so, the owner can expect a knock on the door to warn them their property could be stolen.  Officers will conduct these house calls from midnight to 4 a.m.

"I'm not really concerned about the inconvenience,” said Lt. Corrigan.

“For what you will go through with having to call your insurance company, being late for work, having a shattered window, and the expense of replacing those items that are being stolen, it's just a whole lot easier [to conduct wake up calls].”

Police said the initiative will target neighborhoods such as the Carver District, Ginter Park, and Bellevue.

But people CBS 6spoke with said that car break-ins throughout this area are nothing new.

Guylaine Desrosiers has lived in Bellevue nineteen years.  One night a few years ago, Desrosiers accidently left her car door unlocked, and someone noticed the change she kept in her ash tray.

"Somebody just took the ash tray, so I'm living now without an ash try in my car,” said Desrosiers.

Police said these are mostly crimes of opportunity, which is why some said the early wake up calls should not be necessary.

"I don't think it's a cops' responsibility to keep up with your belongings,” said Nina Lekwuwa.