2014-08-27 / Crime Watch

Empty houses draw thieves’ attention

Michael Buettner

One more thing we can blame on the housing market slump: an increase around the county in the number of vacant houses, which often become targets for crime.

According to Census Bureau estimates, there were 8,768 vacant housing units in Chesterfield in 2012 (the most recent year for which figures are available) out of a total of 123,916. The vacant units were more than twice the 3,935 counted in the 2000 Census. All told, vacant homes represented 7.1 percent of the county’s total housing units in 2012, up from 4 percent in 2000.

Regular Crime Watch readers are aware that these vacant units are frequently targeted by thieves, especially those looking for easy-to-sell scrap metal, though they don’t always find what they’re looking for:

• Unknown suspect(s) took apart an air conditioning unit and stole copper from the crawl space of a vacant house in the 2400 block of Glendale Street in Normandale Terrace on Aug. 4.

• A vacant house being renovated in the 9500 block of Kendrick Road in Kingswood was broken into on Aug. 11. Nothing was reported stolen.

• Copper was reported stolen from a vacant house in the 8500 block of Lyndale Drive in Longwood Acres on Aug. 11.

• An air conditioning unit and scrap metal were stolen from a vacant house in the 2400 block of Osborne Road on Aug. 9 by unknown suspect(s) who may have entered through an unlocked window.

• Unknown suspect(s) forced open the door of a shed at a vacant house in the 6900 block of Laughton Drive in Old Creek West on Aug. 12. The shed was empty, so nothing was stolen.

Anyone who has information about these incidents or any other crime is asked to call Crime Solvers at 748-0660. You can also submit a tip at crimesolvers.net or text WATSON plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES).

In other crimes:

Ashley Village (Sexton Drive) – Multiple unlocked vehicles in the 6400 block were entered on Aug. 16. Cash, electronic devices and miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

Beach Road – Miscellaneous items were reported stolen from two four-wheelers parked in the yard of a home in the 7200 block on Aug. 10.

Chester (West Hundred Road) – Windows were broken on a vehicle parked at a business in the 2400 block on Aug. 15. Clothing, electronic devices, jewelry and miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

Falling Creek Apartments (Sloan Court) – A red 2011 moped was reported stolen from outside a unit in the 6200 block on Aug. 14.

Fieldcrest (Southlawn Avenue) – Electronic devices and miscellaneous items were reported stolen from a home in the 20500 block on Aug. 17 by unknown suspect(s) who entered through an unlocked side window.

Five Forks Village (Mill River Court) – Miscellaneous items were reported stolen from a vehicle at a home in the 7800 block around 8 p.m. on Aug. 14. The items were found later nearby.

• Miscellaneous items were reported stolen from a vehicle at a home in the 6400 block around 9:10 p.m. on Aug. 14. The items were found later nearby.

Genito Road – An unspecified number of known suspect(s) stole scrap copper from the yard of a home in the 19100 block on Aug. 18. The stolen property was later recovered.

Gravel Pit Farms (Willis Road) – Unknown suspect(s) cut a chain to open a gate at GCR Tire Center in the 1600 block, then cut a lock to enter a trailer on Aug. 16. Miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

Greenleigh Mobile Homes (Maria Drive) – An unlocked silver 2002 Chevrolet was reported stolen from the 14200 block on Aug. 13 and later recovered.

Grove Road – Cash was reported stolen on Aug. 13 from Montage Consignment Boutique in the 900 block by unknown suspect(s) who broke in through a rear window.

Hull Street Road – A freight trailer was reported stolen from U.S. Express in the 10100 block on Aug. 16.

Jacobs Road – A resident sitting in a vehicle in the 8800 block was approached around 7:15 p.m. on Aug. 17 by a suspect who displayed a handgun and demanded money. The suspect left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Jefferson Davis Highway – The catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at Cardinal Auto Sales in the 11600 block on Aug. 14.

Meadowdale (Meadowburm Drive) – A red 1998 Ford SUV and a black 2000 Chrysler were reported stolen from a home in the 6700 block on Aug. 4.

Midlothian Turnpike – A white 2000 Nissan reported stolen outside the county was found in a parking lot in the 8500 block around 11 a.m. on Aug. 13.

Newberry Towne (Ennismore Court) – Windows on two vehicles around the 2900 block were broken on Aug. 11. Electronic devices were reported stolen.

• Multiple vehicles in the 2900 block of Haddington Court were rummaged through on Aug. 17. Cash and electronic devices were reported stolen.

Pennwood (Drexelbrook Road) – Firearms were reported stolen from an unlocked vehicle at a home in the 7700 block on Aug. 10.

Pocono (Pocono Drive) – Electronic devices, jewelry and miscellaneous items were reported stolen from a home in the 500 block on Aug. 12 by unknown suspect(s) who gained entry by breaking a kitchen window.

Regency Lake Apartments (Cosmic Road) – An unknown suspect entered a unit in the 6400 block around 4:30 a.m. through the unlocked front door and tried to grope a resident while she was sleeping. The suspect fled on foot.

Salem Woods (Nordic Lane) – Unknown suspect(s) fired gunshots into an occupied home in the 5500 block around 1 a.m. on Aug. 18.

Smoketree (Smoketree Drive) – The outside of Monacan High School in the 11500 block was vandalized and miscellaneous items were stolen from a work truck parked at the school on Aug. 12.

Solar I (Scottingham Drive) – Firearms were reported stolen from a home in the 8300 block on Aug. 8.

Squire Hill Apartments (Lamplighter Drive) – The rear passenger-side window of a vehicle in the 4200 block was broken on Aug. 10. Miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

Tarrington (Sodbury Drive) – Copper wire was reported stolen from a house under construction in the 13000 block on Aug. 12.

Thompson Estates (Malibu Street) – Three vehicles at a home in the 11700 block were entered by unknown suspect(s) on Aug. 8. Electronic devices were reported stolen.

Watermark (Portico Place) – An air conditioning unit was reported stolen from a house under construction in the 7000 block on Aug. 6.

Westerleigh (Glensford Drive) – Firearms were reported stolen on Aug. 13 from a home in the 17000 block.

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