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Crime

RPD and RFD investigating four suspicious fires on Broad and Grace Streets

Since April, fire investigators have responded to four suspicious fires in the 2700 blocks of West Broad and West Grace streets.

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From RPD:

The Richmond Police Department and Richmond Fire Investigations Unit need are investigating four fires set along West Broad and West Grace streets in recent months.

Since April, fire investigators have responded to four suspicious fires in the 2700 blocks of West Broad and West Grace streets. All of those incidents are currently being investigated as arson.

Around 9:50 p.m. on April 3, a small fire was found inside of a vacant apartment in the 2700 block of West Grace Street. According to tenants, the building has a lot of foot traffic and investigators encourage anyone who recalls seeing anything suspicious that night to contact police.

Between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. on July 14, a mattress in the rear of Chapman’s Certified Auto Repair, located at 2727 West Broad Street, was set on fire. As the mattress burned, the fire crept up the building and into the roof area. . Investigators believe the fire was set intentionally.

Two more fires were set on the mornings of August 23 and August 24. These two incidents are believed to be related at this time.
Around 5 a.m. on August 23, a vehicle was set on fire in the parking lot of Chapman’s Certified Auto Service, located at 2727 West Broad Street. The fire spread to four nearby vehicles.

Shortly before 6 a.m. the next day, a vehicle was set on fire at in the rear parking lot of an apartment building in the 2700 block of West Grace Street.
All four cases remain under investigation.

Anyone with any information about any of these incidents is asked to call Detective Sergeant Angela Smith at (804) 646-5034 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip or submit a tip online at www.7801000.com.

Citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious incidents by calling the Richmond Police Non-Emergency line at (804) 646-5100. To protect life and property, the Richmond Fire Department urges residents to be aware of their surroundings, make sure property is secure and doors to vehicles and outside structures are locked and that trash receptacles are placed outside only on the day of collection.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Tow Truck Pirate is Raiding the Roads of Richmond – Correction Not a Pirate at All, Lawful Act Committed

It’s a new (to us) brazen method for stealing cars and it takes mere seconds.

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RPD issued this email at 7:15 PM correcting their previous email from earlier in the day.

UPDATE: Tow Truck Determined to Have Engaged in Lawful Tow

Following new information received by detectives – the tow truck featured in today’s release about a possible vehicle theft has been identified and it has been determined the vehicle was lawfully towed.

While RPD officers were following the proper procedure for taking a report of a stolen vehicle, information provided by the tow company, which alerts public safety agencies to a legal tow, was not immediately forwarded to RPD. Therefore, RPD officers and detectives were not made aware the vehicle had been lawfully towed while investigating the missing vehicle.

While investigating the stolen vehicle report, detectives released a surveillance video to alert the public to the potential safety issue.

 

From RPD:

The Richmond Police Department is alerting the public to an unlicensed tow truck that is being used to quickly steal vehicles throughout the city. A surveillance camera video clip of the tow truck as it is stealing a vehicle in the Davee Gardens neighborhood.

Late morning on Sunday, October 24, the tow truck, black in color, backed towards a parked vehicle, lifted it with the tow gear and, within seconds, towed the vehicle away. A photo of the tow truck is also attached.

There are no logos or lettering on the truck, which is required by state code for tow trucks for hire.

Detectives ask the public to call 911 if they see this tow vehicle or any tow truck without company name, lettering or logo.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

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Crime

Moody MS 8th-grader wins spell-off to capture pandemic edition of HCPS division-wide Spelling Bee

Ananya Nanduru clinched the 2021 title in the second round by correctly spelling “graticule,” the network of latitude and longitude lines on which a map is drawn.

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Ananya Nanduru of George H. Moody Middle School won a spell-off on January 26th to repeat as Henrico County Public Schools’ Division-wide Spelling Bee champion. The eighth-grader bested Hollie Kim, an L. Douglas Wilder Middle School sixth-grader, to win the tiebreaker, held virtually. Nanduru clinched the 2021 title in the second round by correctly spelling “graticule,” the network of latitude and longitude lines on which a map is drawn.

The winner was presented with the HCPS spelling trophy at Moody Middle School Tuesday afternoon by school division representatives, including Marcie Shea, School Board vice-chair and Tuckahoe District representative, and Amy Cashwell, superintendent. Nanduru’s is the third Moody Middle School championship in as many years. That means the trophy, which resides at the winning school, will remain on display at Moody. The award was made possible by a donation from four-time Henrico spelling champion Tejas Muthusamy, a former Moody student now at Maggie Walker Governor’s School. The Henrico Education Foundation had the trophy made.

Ordinarily, spelling champions from HCPS’ 46 elementary schools and 12 middle schools gather onstage at a middle school auditorium to determine the annual champion. Because of the pandemic, this year’s 58 school champions each took an online spelling test provided by Scripps, the media company that coordinates the national bee. Each was required to complete the test within a 15-minute window. When those results were tabulated, Nanduru and Kim had identical scores, and advanced to the virtual video spell-off.

Nanduru moves on to represent Henrico County Public Schools on March 15th in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee, which will also be held virtually. The regional winner will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is held in late May and televised by ESPN.

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RPD seeking public’s assistance in identifying man found dead near Bandy Field and U of R

At approximately 7:06 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, an unknown deceased male with no form of identification was found in the 6700 block of Three Chopt Road. No foul play is suspected.

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From Richmond Police:

Richmond Police detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying a male who was found early Sunday morning.

At approximately 7:06 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, an unknown deceased male with no form of identification was found in the 6700 block of Three Chopt Road. No foul play is suspected.

The male is described as a white male in his late teens or early twenties with hazel eyes, dark hair, and a slim build. He was wearing a tan long sleeve shirt with a distinctive design on the front of the shirt, grey sweatpants, grey shoes with green on them and had a tan backpack. Photos of the clothing are attached.

Anyone with information to assist in this investigation is asked to call Major Crimes Detective N. Reese at (804) 510-4183 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

Photos of the deceased man’s clothing and apparel are below.

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