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Violent Crime Down in Richmond; Robberies Up

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RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic addressed City Council Monday afternoon on the current state of crime in the city.

Tarasovic said overall violent crime is down over five percent, however robberies are up significantly.

In 2012, there were 17 murders as of June 24th. This year there has been 14.

In 2013, there were 19 rapes as of June 24. This year there has been 14.

Overall, violent crime is down 5.3 percent according to Tarasovic.

However robberies are a different story.

In 2012, there were 204 individual robberies as of June 24th. This year there have been 250.

"It is our most significant increase to date," Tarasovic said.

"I will have failed if I appear before you in January and my robbery number is not lower than last years," Tarasovic said.

The Police Chief says officers are being deployed to certain areas to help combat the rise in robberies in addition to the department cracking down on felons with guns.

The Chief says that in the nine days the gun crackdown program has been active, over eighteen guns have been collected.

But that is little comfort for residents in Shockoe Bottom, where for the second time in just five days an armed robbery occurred in the parking lot near Buffalo Wild Wings.

"I'm scared to live here," Chris Ashworth, a Shockoe Bottom resident, said.

"I just moved here from Mechanicsville - I liked it there more," Ashworth said.