Questions raised regarding accessibility of Richmond courthouse lockers: 'It's really frustrating'

lcokers sign.jpeg
Posted at 11:35 PM, Mar 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-16 13:29:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Some Richmond residents are expressing concerns over the lockers at John Marshall Courthouse no longer being in use when they go to lock away their electronics before entering the building.

“It’s really frustrating because I’m already late," shared one person.

Antonio Bell says he also encountered a similar problem when he arrived for court. He said some were hard to unlock and others didn't have locks on them working.

Antonio Bell

Bell says he needed to get inside so he just decided to put his electronics in an unlocked locker.

“I felt uncomfortable putting my stuff in the lockers. I feel like it’s a pain. Especially for people that are having to catch a bus or don’t have belongings they need to carry with them," Bell said.

During most of February, the lockers had caution tape around them with a sign that read "out of order do not use."


No sign was posted for what to do if you needed to store electronic devices.

On February 27, CBS 6 emailed the Richmond Sheriff’s Office about the situation.

The Sheriff's Office said they weren’t responsible for the lockers and deferred us to the Department of Public Works. The Department of Works got back to us and said they weren’t responsible either and referred us back to the Sheriff’s Office.

The next day CBS 6 observed a city employee taking down the caution tape but leaving a sign behind. After two weeks, the city's spokesperson responded to our questions and shared that both the Department of Public Works and the Sheriff's Office work together to maintain the lockers.

Officials tell CBS 6 the lockers were taken out of order for several reasons including some being broken, items being stolen, and the lockers being used for illegal activity.

As a result, the city said they will be removing the lockers at the end of the month and replacing them with lockers inside the courthouse.

For now, they said the deputies will hold electronics inside the building. Richmond did not directly address concerns about why there is no signage explaining the temporary solution.

“A quick decision was made to stop the usage of the lockers due to their disrepair and safety concerns. The City and the Sheriff's Office are working together to communicate with the public about this change and the next steps moving forward," said a spokesperson.

Bell says he wished he knew that was an option, instead of leaving his electronics outside in an unlocked locker.

“I do feel like they need to get more lockers that are working. And if not we should be allowed to at least come in with our phone or something," Bell said.

The city does not yet have a timeline for when the new lockers will be installed and operational.

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