CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Neighbors living in Western Branch are on high alert over a perceived uptick in crime.
According to Chesapeake police, 21 home burglaries have been reported across the area in just the month of November.
On Friday, a woman was reportedly carjacked in her driveway on Hanover Street. Police said the vehicle was recovered 30 minutes later, deserted at a convenience store in Portsmouth.
“It’s made us very nervous,” said Debra Twine.
“I think everybody’s trying to look out for each other,” Shelly Thompson said.
Leigh Anne Newsom told 10 On Your Side that her home was burglarized on Nov. 18.
“When we walked in, all the doors had been left open all day, and they had ransacked the house completely.”
She said burglars kicked in a back door to gain entry while her family was at work. They tore through nearly every room, including her son’s diabetic supplies. Several Christmas presents, neatly placed beneath their tree, were opened and tossed around. She said her family is remaining optimistic.
“I don’t think they’re killing the spirit in Western Branch,” she said. “Because we will all work together and do what we can to make this a better place to live.”
Many residents told 10 On Your Side they are banding together and increasing security.
On Monday, Paul Klaras spoke to 10 On Your Side while biking around the neighborhood, keeping his eyes peeled.
“I haven’t seen anything today yet, which is good.”
Stacey Sherry said she created a neighborhood Facebook group for residents to keep in touch.
“I just try to remind everyone to protect yourself,” she said.
Sherry has a strong message for the criminals terrorizing her streets.
“It’s gonna take one of these guys getting killed for it to stop… they’re going to walk into the wrong house.”
Police are actively investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.