COMPLETE COVERAGE: Latest on desperate search to find missing college student

Randolph community concerned crime growing problem, Police disagree

RICHMOND, Va.- There’s growing concern in the Randolph community that crime is creeping in.

But Richmond Police say the numbers are actually down and that they need help to keep it that way.

Bullets flattened a tire and ripped through the siding of a Lakeview Avenue home Thursday.  One bullet went through the wall and into an elderly woman’s china cabinet before falling on the shelf.

“It’s right next to my house and she’s such a sweet lady,” said VCU sophomore Nadia Alam.   “I’ve already had a few conversations with her.  She was telling me that someone stole her patio furniture.”

Despite police reassurances, some neighbors in Randolph say violence seems to be finding its way into their neighborhood more often.   “I heard four shots and I was in bed,” said Alam.

Some say drug dealing out in the open at a nearby park is so bad, they’re afraid to show themselves on TV in fear of retaliation.  “We need more police out here,” said a concerned VCU student who did not want to be identified.   “I know if we see something we have to step up as a community, but a lot of people are afraid.”

I took their concerns to police, who say they understand the fear factor, but say there are ways to get results.  “Call us, email us your problem, come by the precinct,” said Lt. Stephen McQuail.  “If you see a cop in a car, ask to speak with them.  The big thing is communication.”

In an area that’s been the  focus of city revitalization by attracting young students to move in, Alam says Thursday night’s apparently random gunfire has pushed her to buy some self-defense solutions.

“It scares me.  It’s never been like that before,” said Alam.  “I mean, I’m new to the area, but seeing this is going on is scary.”

McQuail, who is stationed at the Third Precinct, says officers will patrol more in the Randolph area the next few days.  He says if anyone knows who the two suspects seen running through the neighborhood with guns are, to call police and turn them in.

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