VCU Alert

On-campus emergency: 828-1234
Off-campus emergency: 911

Current advisory

Notice of Crime – Attempted Robbery – Off Campus MPC

10/20/2017 11:54 pm

Reported offense: On 10/20/2017 at 10:49 p.m., Richmond Police and VCU Police received a report of an attempted robbery that occurred in the 1000 block of West Clay Street.

Brief description of how the crime took place: The victim was walking in the 1000 block of West Clay Street when he was approached by five black male juveniles on bikes. One of the offenders stated “give me your money and shoes.” Before responding, the offenders got off their bikes and physically assaulted the victim, but he was able to flee to a safe location where he called police. There were no weapons and the offenders were last observed heading east on Clay Street towards Belvidere Street.   

Investigating agency: Richmond Police are leading the investigation.

It can be assumed that conditions continue to exist that may pose a threat to members and guests of the community. Police have increased patrols in this area.

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 living in an urban environment.  Crimes may occur in our community. The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. A few key reminders:

•    If you find yourself in a similar situation do not resist. Cooperate.
•    In the event of an incident such as this, the information you provide police will help them identify the suspect(s). Focus on his or her physical characteristics, i.e. clothing description, height and weight, and last known direction of travel.
•    Don't make any sudden, unexpected moves.
•    If the suspect claims to have a weapon, never try to force the bluff.
•    Never try to apprehend the criminal yourself. Call the police immediately.
•    When out walking, trust your instincts about a person or situation and choose safety over courtesy.
•    If you need help, look for an Emergency Reporting Telephone. You automatically will be connected to the VCU Police Department.
•    Be aware of your surroundings. Do not let a cell phone conversation or listening to music distract you when crossing the street or in another situation that calls for your full attention.
•    Avoid isolated areas and walking alone at night. Consider using the RamSafe transportation service between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Call 828-SAFE (7233) or visit http://www.ramsafe.vcu.edu
•    For additional safety tips from the VCU Police, please see: https://police.vcu.edu/safety/index.html and follow the department on Facebook and Twitter.
•    Be very cautious if someone tries to stop or distract you; a suspect may ask, “Do you have a cigarette?” or “Can I use your phone?”

 

VCU students, faculty and staff are encouraged to share this safety information with other members of the community and are asked to be aware of their surroundings. Use the campus RamSafe transportation service between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. by calling (804) 828-SAFE (7233) or visit http://www.ramsafe.vcu.edu.

Students, faculty, staff and citizens of Richmond are asked to report all suspicious persons or incidents, however minor, to VCU Police immediately.

Anyone with information pertaining to this crime can contact the VCU Police Department 24/7. For emergencies call (804) 828-1234. For non-emergency tips call (804) 828-1196. You can also download the LiveSafe mobile safety application for free on a smart phone and submit tips, screen shots, photos and videos directly to VCU Police; tips are monitored 24/7.

 

 

VCU Police offering monetary reward for tips in hit-and-run investigation

9/28/2017 5:15 pm

On Sept. 3, 2017 at 10:24 p.m., a woman was crossing North Belvidere Street in a crosswalk at the intersection with West Grace Street. A vehicle traveling west on West Grace Street turned north onto Belvidere Street and struck the pedestrian in the crosswalk without stopping. The victim is a VCU student.

Today, VCU Police Chief John Venuti announced a reward of up to $5,000 for the arrest, and conviction, of a suspect/s connected to the incident.

“We need more information and we hope reward money is an incentive for someone with key information to come forward,” Venuti said. “If someone was a passenger in the car, or has heard an acquaintance talk about an accident in Richmond, we want them to come forward. If you know someone with a similar vehicle that has front-end or hood damage, we would investigate from that angle as well. Any piece of information could help.”

The victim, a VCU student who publicly identifies as “Lynn”, hopes anyone with information will come forward.

“This entire experience has been a nightmare. The person that did this has put me through so much pain and has forced me to put my life on hold while I heal,” Lynn said today. “My hope is that this person will make the right choice in the end and come forward. It would give me peace of mind and help me in my healing process.”

VCU Police detectives have determined that at the time of the hit-and-run, the vehicle had a green light; however, the victim also had a walk signal at the crosswalk.

VCU Police detectives confirmed the suspect’s vehicle as a 2017 Ford Escape SE. It is either Ruby Red (red) or Canyon Ridge (orange) in color and may have front end or hood damage due to the impact of the vehicle hitting the woman.

Sample Photo of 2017 Ford Escape SE - Ruby Red (Source: shop.ford.com): http://news.vcu.edu/image/11521

Sample Photo of 2017 Ford Escape SE - Canyon Ridge (Source: shop.ford.com): http://news.vcu.edu/image/11522

New Investigative Information: Using VCU security cameras, police determined that after hitting the woman, the driver of the 2017 Ford Escape SE stopped behind another vehicle at a red light at Broad and Belvidere streets. Detectives tracked the vehicle traveling north on Belvidere, and crossing Leigh Street. After reviewing security camera footage from a business in the area, police believe the driver may have turned either north or south onto Interstate 95 from North Belvidere Street, but an exact path of travel is unclear.

Map: http://news.vcu.edu/image/11515

Suspect Vehicle [Photo 1 / Enhanced]: http://news.vcu.edu/image/11516

Suspect Vehicle [Photo 2]: http://www.news.vcu.edu/image/11424 (Please note that the suspect vehicle is the car farthest to the right.)

Suspect Vehicle [Photo 3 / Enhanced]: http://news.vcu.edu/image/11517

In addition, VCU Police detectives were able to track the driver’s route prior to the hit-and-run. Police have video footage of a 2017 Ford Escape SE traveling in the wrong lanes on Broad Street between 4th and 3rd streets. At 10:18 p.m., the vehicle heads westbound from 4th Street in the eastbound lanes before turning onto 3rd Street. VCU Police have posted the video to YouTube: https://youtu.be/zniUWwnhgoo

Detectives believe the vehicle traveled on Broad, to 3rd Street and then onto West Grace Street prior to the hit-and-run.

“Because the driver used the wrong lanes on Broad Street, that could indicate a couple of possible factors,” Venuti said. “The driver could have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs; he/she could have been lost if they weren’t familiar with the city, or both conclusions are possible. We are not ruling anything out. If you don’t live in the Richmond area, but you’ve heard someone discuss similar accident details, please call us.”

VCU Police detectives ask anyone with information about this crime to call Det. Lee Olds at (804) 382-2719. VCU Police also accepts information and tips 24/7 on a non-emergency line: (804) 828-1196. Members of the VCU community can download the LiveSafe mobile safety application for free on a smart phone and submit tips, screen shots, photos and videos directly to VCU Police; tips are monitored 24/7. Tips can be submitted anonymously to Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers online or by calling (804) 780-1000.

Preparedness

It is essential to be prepared for emergency situations and to be cognizant of ways to prevent crime and avoid dangerous situations.

The Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department would like to remind students, in particular, to keep personal safety in mind. There are certain things you need to be aware of as residents of an urban environment, as crimes may occur in our community.

The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, walk with a friend and make use of RamSafe, VCU’s security escort service. For additional safety tips from the VCU Police, please see www.police.vcu.edu and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to read VCU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report Get Adobe Reader and to share this information with other members of the community.

VCU is dedicated to promoting a safe and secure environment for learning, living, working or visiting.