The following email was received from Tim Smith, Wards Corner resident:
I would like to share with all of you the following event that just happen in our area that you will not hear about in the news or from the city.
On the evening of March 17, 2008, around 8:00 pm in the 200 block of Oxford Street, my neighbor was out for a walk. A dark SUV with tinted windows drove past him and turned into a driveway at the end of the block. This SUV then came back down the street past my neighbor and pulled into a driveway a few houses behind him. My neighbor heard the doors close on the SUV and then heard someone tell him to “Give it up”. When my neighbor turned around he saw two men with “hoodies” pulled up over their heads and two guns pointing at him.
That evening my neighbor had done something he has never felt he needed to do in all his years walking in Talbot Park, carry his concealed weapon. My neighbor has a permit and is trained in the use of his weapon and for some reason he had a strong feeling to carry that night. That feeling probably saved his life this week.
As my neighbor reached for his weapon one of the men fired a shot. Everyone ran in opposite directions. My neighbor was not hit but a stray bullet from the ‘would-be-thieves’ was free to do as it pleased. Naturally these two men will not be found as happens in most of these situations.
The suspicion here is that this was part of a gang initiation, to rob someone at gun point. The fact that one of the men was willing to pull the trigger tells me he was ready and willing to kill someone if need be.
This is the kind of story that goes on just about every night in just about every area of Norfolk that does not make it into the paper or on the TV news. Nobody got killed and in this case nobody got robbed so it is not news.
What is news, in the paper and on TV, are the car break-ins in downtown and how something needs to be done about it. Being these break-ins are happening downtown and the fact that we have a “reactive” form of government instead of a “proactive” form of government, I am sure there will be immediate action taken to catch these thieves who are causing havoc in downtown. All the while the tax payers in the suburbs are being terrorized by gangs.
If we are not willing to join together and take back our streets, but choose to ask our police to do that for us, than we need to insure our police force in Norfolk are second to none in Hampton Roads. Our police need to be the top paid with the best benefits and the latest equipment to fight crime.
We need to stop giving tax breaks to developers that create large dirt piles for us to look at each day or empty condos that do not pay taxes. Before we reduce our tax base our police need to be fully funded and the BEST. We need a government that is “proactive” in its approach to crime (I was at the meeting in Wards Corner years ago were the city chose to ignore the evidence of gang activity we presented to them).
The criminals have the upper hand; they have the will, focus and the stamina to do what it takes, no matter how long, to reach their goals.
The question I pose to you is “Do you have a stronger will, better focus and a superior stamina to do what it takes to keep the criminals from reaching their goal?”
If you do not, then you will be hearing more stories like the one my neighbor told me last night. Only the outcomes may be deadlier and harder to live with. The criminals win and we continue paying for our loss, maybe with our lives.