Man behind some Wards Corner property crimes arrested

September 11, 2013

 

Keith Maurice  Jones

Keith Maurice Jones

Taken from the WVEC website:

NORFOLK — Police arrested  man they say provided vehicles from an illegal vehicle rental agency to suspects involved in multiple burglaries in August and September.

According to Norfolk Police spokeswoman Karen Parker-Chesson, Keith Maurice Jones, 40, of the 2000 block of Piedmont Avenue in Portsmouth,  purchased vehicles from the city using a false business named “Quick Rentals, Inc.”

Parker-Chesson says Jones then titled and registered the vehicles to “March-E Fragrances” and likely knew what the vehicles were used for.

According to police, the following burglary/residential incidents occurred with suspect vehicles all registered to “March-E Fragrances.”

August 22, 2013, 500 block of Timothy Avenue (suspects arrested)
August 23, 2013, 100 block of W. Bayview Boulevard (suspects arrested)
August 28, 2013, 8400 block of Lynn River Road (no arrests)
September 2, 2013, 300 block of Lakebridge Drive (no arrests)

Parker-Chesson said on August 24, a vehicle registered to “March-E Fragrances” was stopped for a traffic infraction.  The driver of the vehicle led investigators to additional vehicles.

Authorities said Jones also had some of the vehicles crushed at a Chesapeake salvage yard.

Warrants are issued charging Jones with 22 counts each of obtaining documents from DMV when not entitled thereto, altering or forging certificate of title or registration card, unlawfully transacting or offering to transact business as a corporation without authorization.

Jones is being held at the Norfolk City Jail.

The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.


Denby Park blight – photo series by Tricia Duncan

May 14, 2013

See Tricia’s full article, with photos, on her website, A little Sugar a little Spice.

Where do you want your children to grow up? Somewhere safe? Somewhere that they can ride their bikes to their friends house? Somewhere you can send them out to play and come home when the street lights come on? Where you don’t have to worry about your general safety 24/7?
Not here…. Maybe you haven’t heard of Denby Park or Wards Corner. This is our neighborhood. Where we live, work and play. In fear. The city for the last few years has promised to remove the run down section 8 apartments that even the cops hate going into. Vast mazes of blight and trash create a hiding place for crime.
They tore down 7. They are tearing down 7 more. However due to budget cut’s we are loosing the war on crime in our wonderful little spot in Norfolk. Or what was once wonderful and could be again.
When I took these photos I did not venture far in. It was EARLY in the morning and I was armed with a tazer. You heard right. You don’t go wandering around this area. It was a risk I took with my camera equipment because it  needs to be seen. People need to see what the confines of this area are like. I plan to do more as I go. I plan to take shots of the beauty in our little neighborhood also.
This photo series will be special too me. I hope it shows that even in the less then wanted areas of the city, beauty can reside. I also wish to show WHY the city should finish their promise to the residents of Ward’s Corner and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Read the rest of Tricia’s article, with photos, on her website, A little Sugar a little Spice.

Message to Norfolk City Council: Restore the funding to Wards Corner

April 19, 2013
WVEC Funding to help revitalize Wards Corner neighborhood slashed

WVEC Funding to help revitalize Wards Corner neighborhood slashed

WVEC is reporting on the reduced funding planned for the Wards Corner Neighborhood plan.  Their article and video can be viewed on their website.

I encourage you to contact City Council either by email or by attending the public budget hearing scheduled for Wednesday, April 24 at 6pm at Granby High School.  Their contact info is located on the City Council website: http://www.norfolk.gov/index.aspx?NID=533

The WVEC article:

NORFOLK — For years the City of Norfolk would allocate millions of dollars to revitalizing the Wards Corner area, but this year the funds are getting slashed.

City spokeswoman Lori Crouch says the City Manager was able to scrape and provide $750,000 for the proposed FY 2014 budget.

“The city is fiscally stressed,” said Crouch.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

Year                   Allocation for Implementation of the Wards Corner Plan
2014                  $750,000 (proposed)
2013                  $2,000,000
2012                  $1,000,000
2011                  $1,767,500

Less money being allocated to the neighborhood isn’t sitting well with residents, businesses owners or patrons of Wards Corner.

Martin Thomas Jr. says less money coming in now could jeopardize overall progress.

Previous funds were used to purchase and demolish blighted and crime-inducing properties in sections of Denby Park.  The City purchased 68 units in 2011 and demolished them in 2012. In addition, 37 apartment units were bought in 2013.  Once the tenants are relocated the units will be demolished.

Next year, a new shopping plaza featuring Harris Teeter is scheduled to open in Wards Corner.

Thomas is concerned if there is no effort in ridding blighted properties around the shopping center, it will have a negative impression on investors.

“If we can show those businesses that this is a nice place to open and you are going to get a good clientele, that effect will cause more and more redevelopment in the Wards Corner area,” Thomas said.


City Manager proposes less money for Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan

April 17, 2013

The City of Norfolk has posted its proposed 2014 fiscal year budget to the City of Norfolk website.  Disappointingly the City Manager has only proposed allocating $750,000 to the Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan.   That is the least amount of funding allocated to the Wards Corner Plan since 2007.

Year                   Allocation for Implementation of the W. C. Plan
2014                  750,000 (proposed)
2013                  2,000,000
2012                  1,000,000
2011                  1,767,500
2010                  1,010,000
2009                  2,121,000
2008                  1,010,000
2007                  505,000

Wards Corner Now, the Wards Corner Task Force, and the various civic leagues in the Wards Corner area have been resolute in their request that neighborhood plan funding be used to purchase and demolish the blighted and crime inducing properties in the Texas streets section of Denby Park.  In recent years the City has been successful in purchasing 37 units in 2013 and 68 units in 2011/2012.

Additionally, the proposed 2014 budget includes $500,000 to  provide for the design and construction of improvements to the Granby Street and Louisiana Drive intersection.  This is a part of the intersection improvements required by Harris Teeter for the new shopping center in the business district.


5 shot in attempted robbery in “Texas streets” area of Denby Park

April 15, 2013

The Virginian-Pilot is reporting:

Seven people were shot late Saturday in two separate incidents that happened about 20 minutes and 2 miles apart.

None of the injuries was life-threatening, police said.

The first incident occurred about 11:30 p.m., in the 7800 block of San Antonio Blvd. Five people were taken to a hospital, including two men who have been charged.

The two are suspects in an attempted home robbery that apparently led to the shooting, a news release said. The three other shooting victims appear to have been the robbery’s targets.

Trenton J. Ore, 25, and Joven K. Covington, 23, both of Norfolk, face charges including eight counts of use of a firearm, four counts of robbery and three counts of malicious wounding.

The second shooting happened about 11:50 p.m. in the 1300 block of nearby Johns­tons Road.

Detectives said two men had been in a verbal altercation with another man during a family gathering. The two men followed the third man after he left a home on Johnstons Road, but the third man later shot the other two, police said. A bullet also struck an occupied vehicle, but nobody inside was injured.

Darryl Lee Speller, 22, of Norfolk faces charges including two counts each of malicious wounding, shooting into an occupied vehicle and use of a firearm. He is related to the two shooting victims, police said.


City takes second bite out of crime in Denby Park

January 29, 2013
Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk.  RED highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2013.  BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk. RED highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

City Council will be voting on January 29, 2013 on the second round of derelict property purchases in the Denby Park neighborhood.  The addresses of the properties to be purchases are:  308 E. Little Creek Road, 317 E. Little Creek Road, 319 E. Little Creek Road, 325 E. Little Creek Road, 328 Fort Worth Ave, 334 Fort Worth Ave, and 338 Fort Worth Ave.

These 2013 purchases are in addition to the properties on San Antonio Boulevard which were purchased in 2011 and eventually torn down.

These purchases are in accordance with the 2004 Wards Corner Comprehensive plan.

The full press release is below:

NORFOLK –The City of Norfolk has reached agreements to purchase seven properties located in the 300 blocks of Fort Worth Avenue and East Little Creek Road in the Denby Park section of the city.  These acquisitions further the Greater Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan and the city’s ongoing efforts to foster safe and healthy neighborhoods which will sustain future generations.

The agreements include the acquisition of 37 apartments on seven properties for $1.45 million.  City Council will vote on the purchase and sale agreements during the Council session scheduled for Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

The property owners are working with their tenants to relocate them.  Once the properties are vacant, the city will conduct an environmental impact study then the apartments will be demolished.

In August 2011, the City of Norfolk purchased 68 apartment units on seven properties in the 300 block of San Antonio Boulevard for $2.68 million.  Those apartments were demolished in April 2012.   The city is working with the community to determine the best use for the open space.


“Norfolk poised to buy parcels of land” – Virginian-Pilot headline

January 16, 2013

Jill Nolin at the Virginian-Pilot wrote an article that was published today, January 16, 2013, indicating that the City of Norfolk is preparing to purchase blighted properties in Wards Corner and Ocean View.

The city is poised to spend millions in the coming weeks as it buys the former Travelers Inn in Ocean View and more property in the Denby Park area of Wards Corner as part of plans to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.

City officials were tight-lipped about the proposed Wards Corner deals, but Martin Thomas Jr., vice president of the Wards Corner Civic League and a member of the city’s planning commission, said residents have been pushing the city to focus on the 300 block of East Little Creek Road and the so-called “Texas streets” behind it.

. . .

In the current budget, city officials allocated $2 million for acquisitions in the Wards Corner area.

. . .

In Wards Corner, the city is looking to clean up the Denby Park area. The city has finished its negotiations, but a deal has not been completed, said Councilman Andy Protogyrou. He declined to comment further because of the “sensitivity of the process.”

Winn said city officials want to further reduce housing density in the area by targeting sites with apartment buildings. Last year, seven buildings in the 300 block of San Antonio Blvd. were torn down on property the city acquired for $2.7 million.

 


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