Burglar climbs ladder, enters Richmond home

RICHMOND, Va. --  Police are investigating a burglary near the VCU campus in downtown Richmond.

Officers believe the suspect climbed a ladder and opened an unlocked window at a home along South Morris Street.  Once inside the home, the thief stole "personal items" from the home.

No one was home at the time of the burglary.

The crime was committed between 8 p.m. and 10:55 p.m. Wednesday, according to police.

Police were not able to provide a description of the burglar.

"The VCU Police would like to remind students, in particular, to keep personal safety in mind. There are certain things you need to be aware of when living in an urban environment," VCU Police posted on its campus alert page. "Crimes may occur in our community, and the best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students."

Police offered these reminders:

Always lock all windows and doors even when home.

Never hide a key to your home outside. Burglars often know all the hiding places.

Good lighting is a deterrent to crime and allows residents to see the pathway from their vehicle to their home. All entry doors should be equipped with lighting.

Motion lighting is a good option in areas that may be intrusive to neighbors.

If you are going out of town, make arrangements to have mail picked up daily or have the post office suspend mail deliveries.

Reflective house or street numbers clearly visible on your home can save valuable time and assist first responders locate your home.

When going out of town, and if you live in the City of Richmond off campus, notify the city to be placed on the vacation watch list.

Keep shades or curtains drawn after dark.

"Case" your residence the way an intruder would and look for ways to enter your residence.

Install deadbolt locks on exterior doors.

Trim trees and shrubs near windows and doors so intruders can't hide in the shadows.

Look out for your neighbors; immediately report suspicious people and activity to police.

Anyone with information pertaining to this, or any crime, can contact the VCU Police Department 24/7. For emergencies, call (804) 828-1234. For non-emergency tips, call (804) 828-1196. Off-campus emergencies in the City of Richmond can be reported by calling, or texting, 911.

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