HAMPTON, Va. - The Hampton Police Division is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspects in connection with a crime series involving multiple violent vehicle larcenies.
Hampton Police have investigated several incidents where suspects engaged in larcenies from vehicles became violent when confronted. Shots would be fired at victims or homeowners who attempted to confront the suspects during the act.
These incidents occurred in the first block of Fields Drive and the 2000 block of N. Armistead Avenue.
News 3 talked with one resident who lives on Fields Drive. He said early in the morning this past weekend, he saw what he believed to be five to six people tampering with his car. When he tried confronting them, he said they started shooting at him.
"We believe that there’s groups of suspects from various areas within the Tidewater area," Capt. Jason Price with the Hampton Police Division told News 3. "This isn’t just something that Hampton is experiencing - this is something that’s occurring throughout the region."
None of the incidents have resulted in injury.
"To pull out a weapon and shoot at somebody? C'mon now, that’s crazy," one woman who lives near Fields Drive told News 3.
The woman didn't want to be on camera due to her safety.
"I have no tolerance for people that think they can get away with breaking the law," she said.
"In those incidents, the suspect had no respect for life," Price said. "Nothing is worth taking a human life."
In the past couple of months, HPD told us 14 incidents in the city involved people pulling on door handles and coming across cars with locked doors.
But officers said the suspects didn't stop there.
"Rather than just move on because the door was locked, they’ve actually shot the window out from one of the windows of the vehicle," Price said. "They saw something that piqued their interest, and they actually took the extra step to shoot the window out."
Hampton Police encourages the public to be aware that suspects engaged in larcenies from vehicles may be armed and dangerous.
Suspects are often searching for firearms left in unlocked vehicles.
Meanwhile, the woman who spoke with News 3 has lived in the neighborhood for more than three decades.
She recalls someone breaking into her home roughly 10 years ago.
"I don’t know how I would’ve felt if I would’ve been home at night, alone, and someone broke into my house. Thank goodness I wasn’t," she said.
Officials tell citizens that they should not confront individuals engaged in criminal activity.
Instead, citizens can help solve these crimes by contacting police, providing accurate descriptions of individuals and suspect vehicles, as well as the suspect’s direction of travel.
"Yes, your property is important, but it’s not worth your life," Price said. "It’s not worth getting injured for."
If you or anyone you know has information that will assist police, they are encouraged to contact the Hampton Police Division at 757–727–6111 or the Crime Line at 1–888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887). Tipsters can also send an anonymous tip at P3Tips.com.