RICHMOND, Va. -- It seems to be an alarming trend sweeping Richmond: stolen cars that are then used in violent crimes.
"This happened Friday the 13th about 12:30 p.m., in broad daylight,” Sheila Williams, whose son in law's white Dodge Stratus was stolen a few feet from his back door, said.
He left the car idling, to run inside and grab something he had forgotten.
"He's a really hard worker and he really needs his vehicle to get back and forth to work,” said Williams. “I mean, they moved over here about a year ago and they don't bother anyone, very young and respectful."
‘Grand Theft Auto’- which police call a crime of opportunity – has recently been on the rise in parts of the city.
Those living in the east and north side of Richmond said there’s a trend where stolen cars might be used to carry out violent crimes.
Williams doesn't know how their car is being used, but said someone did spot it speeding through Southside Plaza shortly after being swiped. She's concerned about what will happen next.
"Taking cars and doing whatever with it,” Williams said. “I mean, I don't wish ill on anyone. But I hope the thing breaks down. Bring it back, park it in the lot, put it on the side of the road. Just bring my children’s car back."
Williams said the hood of the Dodge Stratus has several shades of white paint and the car is missing all four hub caps.
If you know where it is, call police.