We don't envy local law enforcement, especially in a city like Richmond, Virginia. Charged with keeping the public safe from a variety of ill forces, the job is about as thankless as they come. Recently, the RPD has adopted a new initiative in an attempt to curb vehicle break-ins. Officers on the night shift now check vehicles for valuables left in plain sight, and when they find them, the police stop by the vehicle's owner's home for a little chat. All of these "wake up calls" are most likely to occur between midnight and 4:00 a.m. in order to teach car owners a lesson about protecting themselves from crime.

While removing or stashing high-dollar electronics before leaving your car parked overnight may seem like simple common sense, critics of the plan suggest that punishing those who refuse or forget to do so with a late-night wake-up call is beyond the scope of law enforcement – particularly as it applies to vehicles parked on private property. Watch the WBBC 12 NBC local news report on the initiative by scrolling below, then voice your opinion in our poll and in Comments.





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 99 Comments
      MotionDesigner
      • 2 Years Ago
      What baffles me more than the story itself is the fact that there are at least 1,496 people who voted YES and agree with this new practice. Should the police also wipe our asses for us to teach us about good hygiene? This is ridiculous.
        stclair5211
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MotionDesigner
        Yes and Obama has a new 3.8 trillion dollar program to do just that.
      ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      isnt the lesson when you get your stuff stolen??
      HarvM3
      • 2 Years Ago
      For those worried about the patrol officers wasting their time on filling out reports - Rarely happens in Richmond. The person answering the phone takes your name and some info and that is last you hear from RPD. That's the way they also handle minor auto accidents; over the phone. We even have to call to get them to ticket cars parked in front of fire hydrants. The same violation they have driven past for two days on a busy street. They already have a practice of placing a faux ticket on your windshield if they see something in your car, like my umbrella, warning you about leaving valuables in sight. Clearly they don't understand the principal of proactive enforcement action. I have lived in this town for 30 years and this has been progressively becoming a way of life when having to deal with the RPD. The officers, for the most part find it is beneath them to stop speeders, issue parking violation citations, and investigate “insignificant” incidents. Yes, Richmond has been subject to high murder rates and the deaths have not been only in one part of town. Seems ironic the area they are testing this out is not in the parts of town where residents are in the higher income brackets. Guarantee those residents would be calling their Councilman in a heartbeat and demanding this cease. FYI, as a retire Police Officer I am generally a staunch support of our people in law enforcement. But, this is not the best use of resources.
      jmaeson1964
      • 2 Years Ago
      "lesson about protecting themselves from crime" isn't that their job...to protect us from crimes? i don't leave anything valuable in my car but if i want to that's my business.
        kuntknife
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jmaeson1964
        If you don't call the cops when your window's smashed in, then that's fine. Otherwise it will absolutely become their problem. As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a thousand words, so long as it's cruel and doesn't happen to me"
      J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Next step of course is a citation if the cops see valuables in your car. Richmond must be an amazing place to live, seeing that there's so little actual crime to deal with that they're resorting to this.
        straferhoo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @J
        Richmond used to be the murder capital of USA, per capita.
          Matthew Dawson
          • 2 Years Ago
          @straferhoo
          Also "used to". Richmond has the lowest homicide rates it has had since the mid-1950s.
          straferhoo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @straferhoo
          But mostly in Southside of Richmond. This is in North Richmond far away from the Southside ghettos.
      travisjb
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Police pursue and harass victims for baiting fellow citizens, based upon probably cause and observations of alleged victim prosperity" I will also mention to Autoblog that this is the ultimate "stir the pot" post... you sure you want your website to turn into The Jerry Springer Show?
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's hard to make stupidity a crime so I guess this is as close as they could get.
      earthwateruser
      • 2 Years Ago
      Police departments (and communities) are rated by their crime rates. If citizens choose to leave valuable items in plain site and encourage car break-ins, then perhaps having a note left on your car by a cop is a reasonable result. Calling me (or knocking on my door!) at 2 a.m. is crossing the line. Perhaps the Police Dept. should just use the reverse 911 system (during the middle of the day, perhaps) to leave messages for the community stating that there is a rash of car burglaries and they should take extra care. How would people feel if their car gets broken into, stuff is stolen, they call the cops and the cop arrives and says, "Yeah, I saw that stuff in there last night and figured somebody would probably break-in and steal it. Tough luck buddy, you should know better."
        Joe Kleinfeld
        • 2 Years Ago
        @earthwateruser
        "...perhaps having a note left on your car by a cop is a reasonable result." So... the thiefes just need to lookout for the notes? How very practical.
      officemailbox
      • 2 Years Ago
      Charlotte NC police set up neighborhood competitions leaving notices on vehicles inspected whether or not valuables are in sight , locked, etc. Neighborhoods with best results get recognized and praised. I think would work better than the Richmond approach. Also someone ringing doorbells at those hours is greatly at risk for being met at the door by an armed homeowner who hopefully has already called 911. Sounds like a risky waste of resources that will lead to ill will toward police. Armed and trained.
      KAG
      • 2 Years Ago
      I got family in that area, the cops only seem to be after giving tickets from what I have seen.
      teamplayers99
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is good news, it must mean that absolutely everything else in Richmond is cleaned up safe and sound since the cops have to go this low on the priorities list to find something to work on.
      Mischief
      • 2 Years Ago
      What is, "...especially in a city like Richmond..." supposed to mean? I guess you can leave your valuables on your dash in Detroit, L.A., or most others cities without elevating the risk of a break-in? That being said, this is still ridiculous.
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