Stay Alert. Stay Safe.
Be aware of crime happening around you and take precautions to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your property safe.
Nov. 3, 2023
Break-ins at Buddhist Temples
Henrico Police is investigating several break-ins at Buddhist temples in Henrico County.
On Monday, October 30, 2023, at approximately 1:20 p.m., Henrico Police responded to the 2200 block of Mountain Road for a reported breaking and entering. Once on scene, officers spoke with the complainant who stated three men kicked in the back door to the temple, before fleeing the property. Nothing was reported as stolen during this incident. In January 2023, Henrico Police responded to this same location for a burglary.
Meanwhile, at approximately 6:38 p.m. that same day (10/30), Henrico Police responded to the 2400 block of Old Hanover Road for a reported breaking and entering. Once on scene, officers spoke with the complainant who said someone had kicked in the back door of the temple. Several items were taken along with cash at this location.
Currently, detectives are working to determine whether these two incidents are connected.
Unfortunately, break-ins at Buddhist temples are trending across the United States. The Henrico County Police Division has met with officials within the temples to provide tips on how to best prevent these types of incidents. Those safety tips include:
- Walk around your home/business/place of worship and look for any weaknesses. These could include unlocked windows or doors, poor lighting, overgrown shrubbery providing hiding spots, and so forth.
- Make sure all doors and windows are secured when the building is not in active use.
- Invest in a camera system, and make sure it is turned on and functioning properly and captures all areas around your home/business/place of worship as well as activity in the street in front of the property.
- Do not leave large amounts of cash, jewelry, or anything of great value in your home/business/place of worship unsecured.
- For best safety practices, refrain from keeping any cash within a place of worship.
- Be vigilant, look for and report any suspicious activity.
Henrico Police continues to build relationships with these faith-based communities in Henrico to help them better protect their places of worship.
“We’re grateful for the collaborative effort among our Patrol Officers, Criminal Investigators, and Community Policing Officers helping combat crime in these faith-based communities,” said Henrico Chief of Police Eric D. English. “Oftentimes, there are language barriers when our officers respond to a call for service. We’re thankful to have officers within the Division who can speak a second language, which allows us to thoroughly gather information and move forward with investigating the incident. These efforts help showcase our Division’s motto of One Team, One Community, Safer Together.”
Anyone with information related to these break-ins is asked to contact Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000. You can also submit tips via Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or by using P3tips.com; both methods are anonymous.
Vietnamese and Khmer (Cambodian) translations can be found here.
Kia and Hyundai Thefts on the Rise
Henrico Police is urging Kia and Hyundai vehicle owners to take precautions after a spree of thefts since Fall 2022. These vehicle thefts are potentially tied to a viral social media trend. These thieves are targeting specific brands of vehicles – Kias and Hyundais – manufactured between the years of 2010-2021 that use a mechanical key.
In most of these cases, significant damage is done to the steering columns of the vehicles. Henrico Police is encouraging vehicle owners to do the following:
- Purchase a wheel lock to prevent someone from stealing your vehicle and/or invest in audible alarms, GPS systems or other theft deterrents
- Be sure to close windows, lock your doors, keep valuables out of plain view and do not leave your keys in the vehicle
- If you have a garage, park your vehicle inside or park in a well-lit area
- Contact your local Kia or Hyundai dealership to find out what options may be available for your make/model
Both vehicle manufacturers have asked vehicle owners to check if their vehicle has this security system, and if so, to bring it to a dealership to get it updated.
Anyone with information regarding any of these crimes is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or submit via P3tips.com; both methods are anonymous.
Home Burglaries Involving Owners of Businesses on the Rise
Henrico Police has identified a reoccurring trend of home burglaries involving owners of businesses. Multiple incidents have been reported within the last few months (end of 2022-early 2023). Please know, Henrico Police is working to investigate, develop suspects and make arrest for these crimes.
We do recommend that you use some of these Crime Prevention tips to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim:
- Be vigilant, look for suspicious activity when traveling to and from work. Change your daily routine. Leave at different times and take different routes. Report any suspicious activity including unknown suspicious persons and vehicles in your neighborhoods by calling 911 or our non-emergency number 804-501-5000. This includes lawn care workers or maintenance personnel you do not recognize.
- Be aware that sometimes individuals will conduct surveillance of your home a few days prior by pretending to be pizza delivery drivers, package delivery persons, stating they are lost, requesting to use the restroom and/or looking to buy property in the area. Do not allow those individuals into your home. They will often park vehicles nearby or on a next street over.
- Walk around your home and look for any weaknesses. These could include unlocked windows or doors, poor lighting, overgrown shrubbery providing hiding spots, and so forth. Henrico Police offers free Home Security Audits to county residents. To schedule a Home Security Audit, call the Community Services Unit at 804-501-4838 or email email@example.com.
- Most burglaries take place when the homeowners are away. Create the illusion that you are home. Leave on lights or televisions. These can be set on timers or set up remotely through your phone or home security system.
- Do not leave large amounts of cash, jewelry, or anything of great value in your home unsecured. If you do leave these items in your home invest in a home safe that can be mounted to the floor for extra security.
- Invest in a camera system, and make sure it is turned on and functioning properly and captures all areas around your home as well as activity in the street in front of your home.
If you suspect that you are being targeted on any of the above ways, please contact Henrico Police by calling 911 or our non-emergency number 804-501-5000.
For additional safety tips please visit henrico.us/police/brochures.
Catalytic Converter Thefts on the Rise
There has been a considerable increase in catalytic converter thefts across Henrico County and throughout the entire Richmond Region. Henrico Police detectives, along with other area law enforcement agencies, are diligently working to identify suspects in these thefts.
One of the most valuable tools in solving these crimes is for businesses to have security cameras installed and operable, recording all sides of the business. Surveillance video not only gives police detectives a look at the suspect(s), but valuable information is also obtained, such as suspect vehicle description and time stamp of when thefts are occurring. Having a time frame allows us to acquire additional information or footage more easily from neighboring businesses that may have a better view of the suspect(s) or suspect vehicles. In addition, we can increase awareness of these thefts by sharing surveillance video with other law enforcement agencies.
There are several things businesses can do to help deter and prevent catalytic converter thefts, as well as assist police in identifying suspects:
- Park your work vehicles in a well-lit area. Bright lights help deter theft. Thieves prefer dark parking lots where shadows camouflage their activity.
- Point your surveillance cameras in the direction of your vehicles as best you can.
- If you do not have surveillance cameras on your business, it is highly recommended you purchase some. It does not have to be the most high-tech system available on the market. Something is better than nothing.
In these cases – what police call crimes of opportunity – it is critical detectives have video of the crime. It is very rare to see a set pattern to catalytic converter thefts. The small details obtained from each report and surveillance video is how detectives put these cases together.
- The most important thing you can do is report any theft to police. If no report is made, we do not know who, what, where, and when a theft has occurred. Reports play a very important role in identifying crime trends and help us determine when and where to increase patrol.
Download the Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention brochure and help us share information and increase awareness about this rising crime trend.
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Report Suspicious Activity
Always report suspicious activity. Call Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000 or 911 in an emergency.