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Why police fear thieves are watching women driving in the West End

Posted at 1:23 PM, Jun 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-27 18:43:06-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. - Detectives in Henrico County are worried thieves are targeting West End drivers. Police believe the thieves are watching women as they leave their cars, vans or SUVs to check and see if they are carrying a purse.

Eight times in one week thieves broke into vehicles parked at West End parks and YMCA locations. All eight break-ins, between June 9 and June 14, happened during the daytime.

"Victims reported various items stolen, to include pocketbooks, wallets, credit cards, checks and other personal items," police said in a statement. "In all but one incident, the cars were locked and a window was smashed/broken to gain entry."

The theft occurred at the following locations:

  • the YMCA in the 11200 block of Nuckols Road
  • the YMCA in the 9200 block of Patterson Avenue
  • Deep Run Park on Ridgefield Parkway
  • Otter Pond Park on Park Forest Lane (Wyndham)

"Detectives are concerned that suspects are watching victims as they exit vehicles without a purse," police said. "In several of these cases, suspects attempted to use bank cards and/or pass checks belonging to the victims."

Police have identified two suspect vehicles in these case. One is a dark colored SUV, the other is a dark colored sedan. Both vehicles have out-of-state registrations and no front license plate.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

Reminders from Henrico Police

  • Lock your vehicle at all times
  • Do not leave valuables inside a vehicle
  • Covering a purse or wallet on the floorboard does not mean it is safe from theft.
  • Do not carry a checkbook with you, rather leave it at home
  • If you are a victim, do not enter the vehicle.
  • If you are a victim, report the incident to police immediately and make your bank aware