VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Police Chief Jim Cervera responded to concerns about crime in the southern part of the city.
In a memorandum to the city manager, Cervera noted how there are some upticks in property crimes in the 120, 121, and 122 patrol zones so far in 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. These zones include Pungo, Creeds, Sandbridge, and Asheville Park.
For example, the zone containing Sandbridge saw 18 reports of larceny from motor vehicles from Jan. 1 to May 25, 2015, but then during the same period the number increased to 30 in 2016. "This is not a problem isolated to any part of the city and there are things that can be done to reduce the costs and harms associated with these crimes," wrote Cervera. He explained in the majority of cases, car doors were left unlocked.
The numbers have gotten the attention of the local neighborhood watch group, led by Joe Duda. "There's been an uptick," he said. "It's concerning because it's usually a real quiet community."
The police department is working on creating a public messaging campaign to help encourage people to lock their doors, according to Cervera. He also wrote that a lot of the property has been recovered and arrests have been made.
Police will be speaking with neighbors in Sandbridge and at the Blackwater Fire Station during the month of June.