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Scary details from an armed robbery

The wording from the Daily Crime Report is straight forward. 1st Precinct -ROBBERY 5/1/12, 9:15 p.m., 200 block of West 15th Street, A male reported he was robbed at gunpoint by three unknown males.

The details I just received in an email paint a much more vivid and disturbing picture.

You might remind your readers to be aware of their surroundings and not let their guard down.  I live on the 200 block of West 15th Street.  Around 9:15 or 9:30 pm on Tuesday, three high-school aged African American males approached me from the direction of Dogtown Dance Theater (walking north on 15th) as I stood on the sidewalk outside of my house.  I asked them how they were, and they repeatedly asked me for a dollar.  Finally, one put a revolver to my head and ordered me to the ground.  They took my phone and wallet at this point.  Then they asked me if anyone was home with me.  I’m a terrible liar, so I told them no, nobody was home with me.  They took me into my house at gunpoint.  I led them upstairs to my room, as I knew my computer was there and I could give them that.  They didn’t want the computer.  They kept asking where the gold was.  I don’t have any gold.
I was ordered to the floor of my bedroom.  After looking for things, they decided on taking a gallon bucket of spare change.  The kid with the gun trained on me asked the other kid who was upstairs whether he should kill me.  His friend thought for a second and just replied, “Mmmm…naw.”  He told me to stand up.  As I stood up he kicked me back down.  He told me to stay down and stood on my ankle.  The third kid who was downstairs yelled something, and I was either kicked or pistol whipped in the side of my face/head by the kid with the gun.  And then the three ran off.
The oldest of them couldn’t have been more than 16 or 17.  The youngest looked closer to 14.
I don’t have good descriptions because I made an effort to look away from them after the gun was drawn.
The police responded very quickly, but I don’t imagine they’ll find the kids given how little they have to go on.

24 comments

  1. #1 • Odd •

    “They didn’t want the computer. They kept asking where the gold was. I don’t have any gold.”

    Sounds like the victim mentioned/bragged about having gold in his house to someone. Home invasions are rarely random. Most robbers would have been happy with the wallet and phone. Forcing someone into their house is an enormous risk that most criminals would not take. There is much more to this story that is not being told. The guy doesn’t have good descriptions of the assailants, despite saying he saw them walking up the street and greeted them? That doesn’t pass the sniff test.

  2. #2 • Evan •

    odd. have you ever had a gun held to your head on a dark night? victim blaming might make you feel safer, but right now it just makes you look like an ass.

  3. #3 • Scott •

    Odd,

    Give it a rest…as Evan says, blaming the victim here really makes you look liks an ass.

    Otherwise, this is just bullshit (pardon my French). I can see this crap happening over in Church Hill (where I used to live and one of the reasons I move dover to Forest Hill). What the hell is going on in this city?

  4. #4 • jonah •

    Odd –
    You seem to have confused tv logic with reality. Thank God you’re not in law enforcement. Are you? Please say no.

  5. #5 • pablo •

    condolences to the victim. the kids are either getting the gold to sell to “cash for gold” stores for a quick drug fix, or, they are being ‘coached’ by older gang members. either way, stay aware in all neighborhoods, crime seems to travel around in richmond… did the police get any fingerprints? i doubt they all wore gloves inside house…

  6. #6 • Odd •

    As any judge or lawyer will tell you, there are THREE sides to every story. The e-mail posted above is one side. For obvious reasons (sympathy, jury impact) many victims tend to exaggerate their stories. For most people, when a gun is jammed in their face, it’s a memory they NEVER forget. It is very curious that the victim can’t remember their descriptions. Which makes a clear thinking objective observer consider whether there is more to this story.

    That said, I’m equally horrified at the uptick in crime this Spring. It happened last year too. Stay aware, stay viligent, buy a big dog. Call the non-emergency line if you see anyone or anything “out of place” in the neighborhood.

  7. #7 • Common Sense Mom •

    Horrifying. I am so sorry that happened to you. I hope that through fingerprinting and eyewitnesses they can capture these “kids”. The demand for gold and other precious metals is very high right now. When the armed robberies were peaking in the summer of 2010 I stopped wearing all of my sentimental jewelry except for one ring that I would be willing to give up to “satisfy” a robber. I also kept $20 in cash on me at all times, again specifically for the purpose of having something to hand over if I was mugged.

    I am very sorry to hear that the armed robberies have escalated now to home invasion. We no longer live in WH. After years of putting up with the car break ins and shed break ins we decided to move our family when the summertime crimes started involving guns. That was our tipping point.

  8. #8 • Odd •

    “I asked them how they were, and they repeatedly asked me for a dollar. Finally, one put a revolver to my head and ordered me to the ground.”

    Just sayin’

  9. #9 • Odd •

    ^ There is a missing sentence(s) in the above quote.

    How did this escalate from a greeting to a request for a dollar to a gun pointed at someone’s head?

  10. #10 • Evan •

    odd. i’m unsure there’s much anyone can say that’s going to satisfy your skepticism. here’s all that i can say: as a friend and family member victims of violent crime, i don’t think you can really understand how your off the cuff skepticism can hurt those who were actually affected by a crime. maybe the victim didn’t feel like typing out a several page letter to rehash the story after spending hours with the police. maybe a victim would avoid looking at the face of an assailant as a survival strategy. there’s a lot that all of us don’t know about this particular situation, but we do know that A. an armed robbery occured (via the police report) and B. the victim chose to report this to Hills and Heights as a heads-up to neighbors. i’m not saying you should sensor yourself, i’m just saying you should be less of a dick.

  11. #11 • Tvnewsbadge •

    The problem ODD has in defense of thugs is that he ignores the fact that assaults are not just about money. Often that’s just an excuse for torture.
    Very often, the intent is to “fun” the victim by causing fear and pain, even death.
    Dig the Briley Brothers for example, of those that murdered
    the Harvey family.

    Of course, the victim should have been pro-active and not given the chance for these peeps to get close enough to do him harm, but that’s not always easy to do since most people don’t like believe that everyone they meet on the street is evil, especially when they are children.

  12. #12 • Common Sense Mom •

    Also, I want to add something to the conversation with “Odd”. After living in WH for years and seeing only police reports with very very minimal information shared with the community I really appreciate this poster coming forward with any details. When the armed robberies were peaking in Westover Hills and Woodland heights in 2010 neighbors were begging for details of any kind and victims were reluctant to give any information. Why? Because of what you have demonstrated here. Victim blaming.

    Even though this victim can’t give a good visual description of his assailants he still gives us very good information. It is likely that this crime will be repeated by these same young men. Perhaps it will happen to someone who has read this post and will be better prepared to avoid taking them into their home because they have read this. Every detail we can learn about how these criminals operate is valuable.

    I hope “Odd’s” comments do not dissuade neighbors from sharing information in the future.

  13. #13 • Richard.H •

    Folks, please no name calling. I don’t want to edit comments but will.

    We are all adults and can have rational debate/conversation without having to resort to calling folks body parts.

    Thanks your benevolent and supreme moderator.

  14. #14 • Stuffa •

    Many, many victims of crimes are so flustered after the fact that they can only give vague descriptions of their assailants in the immediate aftermath of the event. The victim’s mind is probably racing: if given the opportunity for further, calmer reflection, they will probably be able to provide more details.

  15. #15 • debbieh •

    Years ago, my husband and two friends were robbed by gunpoint and my husband ended up getting pistol whipped. The police caught the assailant with wallets, etc. on his person, but only one out of the three could pick him out of a lineup. Cannot imagine thinking straight when a gun is being held to your head.

  16. #16 • Victim •

    I was mugged years ago in Washington DC by a youth on a bicycle. He rode up as I was opening my car door and held the door open while I sat in the driver’s seat.
    Thankfully all he wanted was my purse. The police found who they thought had committed the crime a little while later and took my to take a look at him in their cruiser. I was unable to give a positive ID. Days or weeks later I may have been able to, but that night all I my brain could focus on was the scariness of what had just happened and the thanks for being okay.
    So sorry that this is happening in our city. Young kids, hormones, weapons, warm weather, and bad influences are a terrible combination.

  17. #17 • David •

    The thing that always troubles me, beyond the incident itself, is that there is never an attempt to trace the gun…to figure out where a teenager got a pistol. It’s assumed that it will happen and nothing comes of it.

  18. #18 • Jeff S •

    Food for thought. This incident was 3 blocks from where they found the shooting victim the next morning at corner of Semmes and Cowardin. All it takes is a very few people to make an area feel unsafe. A number of the recent shootings city wide have been tied to a few individuals. Be vigilant and remember this to will pass. The majority of people in this area are good we just have to stay together as a larger community and work the few bad seeds out.

  19. #19 • Odd •

    “So sorry that this is happening in our city.”

    This is not happening in Woodland Heights. Mapquest the location of the crime. It’s not a friendly part of town. It’s also not in Woodland Heights. When you live in a shady part of town, you should not engage “three African American teenagers” asking for a dollar. You walk back inside your house before they even get to you.

    All that aside, I appreciate the details the victim provided. I’m simply trying to point out some lessons from it so that other neighbors don’t experience the same thing.

  20. #20 • Brado •

  21. #21 • Stuffa •

    Last time I checked, Woodland Heights was in our city of Richmond.

  22. #22 • Common Sense Mom •

    Odd – Have you ever been a victim of a crime? You seem to judge without first-hand knowledge of what you are talking about.

  23. #23 • amanda •

    Odd, you need to stop running your mouth about things of which you know nothing. Firstly, the neighborhood is incredibly friendly. You wouldnt know that because (thankfully) you don’t live there. Let me guess, you’re probably one of those upright citizens who believes women in sexy clothing deserve to be raped. Secondly, it’s only a couple of blocks from Woodland Heights. Arbitrary neighborhood designations do not warrant victim blaming.

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