Car break-ins have spiked in 2016, police say

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk police have a good reason for wanting to break the city’s quality of life crime issue.

Between last year and this year, car break-ins have increased 10 percent, which has created dozens more cases for police to investigate.

In the Riverview section of Norfolk, you could park your car on Michael Greene’s side of the street.

“My vehicle has been rummaged through,” Greene said.

Or park on Ashley Branton’s side of the road.

“My neighbor was outside and told me that my window was busted out,” Branton said.

You’d hear the same story. It’s been a summer of vehicle vulnerability.

“Especially when they come in your yard and driveway and directly in front of your home,” Branton said. “It’s unnerving.”

The problem isn’t confined to their block. Across Norfolk in 2016, car break-ins have spiked.

“We have seen an increase in about 200 reports,” Norfolk Police Officer Daniel Hudson said.

Norfolk police said that of the three patrol divisions, the division that covers Riverview has seen the most reports of break-ins.

“I honestly wasn’t surprised,” Branton said. “We’ve lived here for four years.”

That’s why Branton and her neighbors now see more of Norfolk police. From patrols to plain-clothed cops, neighbors have taken notice.

“It’s good to see that Norfolk P.D. is not just kind of brushing this off,” Greene said. “They’re actually taking it very serious.”

Is crime going to go down? Norfolk police said they are already driving down the trend of break-ins.

From mid June to mid July, officers responded to 422 car break-ins. But through the second half of the summer, that number has fallen off by about 80 fewer reports.

“We’re actually seeing our patrol efforts in combination with neighborhood watch groups starting to work,” Hudson said.

A drop off police hope to continue to see.

Portsmouth police said Wednesday in a Facebook post that they have also seen an increase in thefts from vehicles.

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