Largest purchase of Denby Park properties completed by City of Norfolk

October 10, 2014
Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk. YELLOW highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2014.  RED highlighted properties were purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

Denby Park properties to be purchased by City of Norfolk. YELLOW highlighted properties are to be purchased in 2014. RED highlighted properties were purchased in 2013. BLUE highlighted properties were purchased in 2011.

The Texas streets portion of Denby Park has, in the past, been referred to as the criminal cancer of Wards Corner.  The City of Norfolk is completing steps to finalize its third purchase of property in that area in an attempt to rid it of the substandard housing that attracts the criminal element.

The most recent purchase includes 88 units on San Antonio Blvd.  The addresses are: 352 San Antonio, 366 San Antonio, 369 San Antonio, 375 San Antonio, 7816, 7820, 7824 San Antonion, and 7812 San Antonio.

The city’s Department of Neighborhood Development is inviting the public to attend a community celebration on October 21, 2014 at 4:00 PM at 352 San Antonio Boulevard to celebrate the purchase and eventual demolition of the 88 additional units in Denby Park.

Expect brief remarks made by elected officials and members of the community.  Police/Fire-Rescue will be on hand cooking and serving food and refreshments so bring your appetite.



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.

Have you see these suspects?

September 2, 2013

There have been a rash of break-ins in the greater Wards Corner area.  The picture below shows suspects that should be reported to the Norfolk Police Department.  Call the NPD Burglary Unit at (757) 664-7011 or the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

Have you seen these suspects? These suspects are believed to have been involved in a burglary in Talbot Park on Whiting Street.  Call the NPD Burglary Unit at (757) 664-7011 or the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

Have you seen these suspects? These suspects are believed to have been involved in a burglary in Talbot Park on Whiting Street. Call the NPD Burglary Unit at (757) 664-7011 or 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.

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.

Suspect in custody after man shot and killed on Harvard St

November 27, 2012

The Pilot, WVEC, WTKR, and WAVY are all reporting that the man was shot and killed at about 11p.m. on November 26, 2012 in the 400 block of Harvard Street near its intersection with Newport Ave.  This is the area behind Granby High School.

From the Pilot:

Police took a man into custody after a fatal shooting late Monday.

About 11 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Harvard St., after reports of a gunshot victim, police spokesman Chris Amos said. They found a man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police took another man into custody, Amos said. There had been a verbal altercation between the two before the shooting.

Police have not yet released the name of either man.



Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Community Collaboration Center in the news

November 6, 2012

The Virginian pilot printed an article and an opinion piece about the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s new Community Collaboration Center recently opened at the Workforce Development Center in Wards Corner.

Michelle Washington wrote an opinion piece titled Working together at Wards Corner.

Placing the office in Wards Corner between the redevelopment under way at the intersection of Granby Street and Little Creek Road and the continued crime problems in Denby Park makes sense. It increases the likelihood of continued change for good. [Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg] Underwood called it “complementing the transition.”

The Pilot also printed an article titled Norfolk center aims to connect victims with legal help.

Norfolk Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Linda Bryant said that’s exactly what the Community Collaboration Center is designed for. The proximity to neighborhoods in Wards Corner will allow more visitors who are reluctant or unable to travel downtown, she said.

Satellite Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to open at Wards Corner

October 25, 2012

The Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is opening a Community Collaboration Center (CCC) in the Workforce Development Center at Wards Corner.

The CCC supports the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the City by having a small group of prosecutors evaluate and integrate specialized resources and programs into the daily prosecution of cases.  The prosecutors are responsible for representing the Commonwealth in Norfolk Circuit Court’s Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Offender Re-Entry Court programs.  In addition, the CCC follows the guidelines of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA, for community prosecution – a philosophy that encourages collaboration between prosecutors, criminal justice partners, and the community to develop safer neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life of citizens.

Examples of  CCC work:

  • Lethality Assessment Protocol – A risk assessment tool utilized by the Norfolk Police Department when officers respond to domestic violence situations.  LAP helps increase victim safety, reduce the risk of lethality, increase aggressor accountability, and provide victims with immediate connections to resources like shelters.
  • Virginia Rules – An educational program we implemented in Norfolk Public Schools to help students understand the importance of making good decisions and the consequences of making poor decisions.  This is done through a series of lesson plans on a variety of topics developed by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.  Topics include gang awareness, dating violence, and internet safety.

Linda Bryant is a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Director of the CCC.  With 15+ years of prosecutorial experience here in Norfolk, she has the knowledge base and perspective to carry out the work of the CCC.  Greg Underwood, Commonwealth’s Attorney, firmly believes the CCC is an important extension of the Office – enabling his office to remain deeply committed to their duty of criminal prosecution while fully recognizing the importance of crime prevention initiatives in Norfolk.  Physically being located outside of downtown in a satellite office of sorts will increase our accessibility to citizens with public safety/criminal justice needs.  Another connectivity goal of the CCC is to recognize citizens may not need our assistance, but that we can facilitate contact with the correct department/agency.

A grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, 11/1, from 4pm-5pm at the Norfolk Workforce Development Center (NWDC).  The program, which will include the ribbon cutting, will be brief but meaningful and will be followed by a simple reception.  They are expecting at least 100 people; Mayor Paul Fraim, City Manager Marcus Jones, and Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe have confirmed they’ll be attending.  Civic league members should feel free to attend.

Pilot editorial writer, Michelle Washington, pushes for Denby Park renaissance

October 21, 2012

Virginian-Pilot editorial writer, Michelle Washington, wrote an article about the continuing crime in Denby Park and the KaBoom! park that is so crime ridden that it is considered by some to be unsafe for their children.  Read the article here.

But they [LaCrystal Locks and Melissa Torbert] are not willing to accept a Denby Park without a place for kids to play. They focus on a future when the renaissance blooming near them at Wards Corner and further up Little Creek at the Walmart shopping center finally engulfs the streets named for Texas cities that evoke the opposite of its wide open spaces.

When that day comes, they hope Denby Park can once again host a playground, a real park with plenty of green fields for little ones to run, picnic tables for watching parents, and yes, a brightly colored jungle gym.

Despite all of the great news lately about the redevelopment of Wards Corner, we must continue to focus on the substandard housing in Denby Park that breeds and attracts crime.  That is why the recommendation of the Wards Corner Taskforce continues to be that the City Manager purchase and demolish more of the apartments in the 300 blocks of E. Little Creek Road, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

300 Blocks of Denby Park continue to foster crime

May 11, 2012

April 2012 was another bad month for the 300 blocks of Fort Worth, San Antonio, and E. Little Creek Road.

Type:                                                   Location:                                                         Date:
LARCENY-FROM AUTO              7600 BLOCK GALVESTON BLVD          4/26/2012 06:00 PM
VANDALISM                                  300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD            4/24/2012 03:00 PM
NARCOTICS VIOLATIONS        300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD         4/22/2012 11:31 AM
VANDALISM                                  300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV                4/21/2012 12:01 AM
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT            NA                                                                    4/15/2012 01:32 PM
HOMICIDE                                       300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV                4/13/2012 03:37 PM
VANDALISM                                   300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD         4/13/2012 09:30 AM
LARCENY-PARTS FROM AUTO 300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV              4/11/2012 03:30 PM
NARCOTICS VIOLATIONS         300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD           4/9/2012 08:49 PM

Source:  Norfolk Police via

Neighbors aid in catching burglars in Wards Corner

February 28, 2012

Alert neighbors on Maycox Ave, Burleigh Ave, and Ruthven Road in Wards Corner alerted the police to a burglary in progress on Maycox Ave last Thursday, February 23, 2012.  The victim has placed the below sign in his yard as a reminder that it pays to know and look out for your neighbors.

Op-Ed: Fed up in Denby Park

January 24, 2012

We live in Denby park.  If you stand in our drive way and look down to your right, you will see a beautiful tree lined street, the trees bloom beautiful in the spring.   The yards are kept up and the homes charming.  People walk their dogs, kids play in their backyards.  Neighbors know and take care of each other.

If you turn and look the other way you will see  run down apartment buildings on Galveston. People sitting outside drinking beer, yelling and loitering.  If you looked at night you would likely see a young lady or two walking up and down the street offering her services.  You would be brave to cross from our side to the other side.  We just don’t do it.
My children cannot ride their bikes, play out front and climb those beautiful blooming trees in the spring, and we sure can’t leave our doors or cars unlocked.  We are awakened by gun shots and sirens on a weekly basis it seems.

City of Norfolk, you disappoint me. When we were looking for a home we found this charming 5 bedroom, we were told the projects were coming down, the city installed cameras.  4 years later, we are still waiting.  We have witnessed no improvement.

Wards Corner has so much potential.  While I am excited about the upcoming improvements I think the city is wasting their money until they deal with Denby Park.  It just festers like a boil in the community.  IF I had my wish they would tear it down tomorrow and build a nice park complex or new homes.   We are tired of the excuses, we are tired of a slum lord that keeps passing by.  Why are these projects still here?

So Norfolk, I would appreciate it if you would come and tell my children the reason they can’t play in their own front yard safely is because the city keeps finding excuses to fix this problem.  Please tell them that you cannot keep their street safe enough for children to play outside.  Please don’t tell me again after a group of teens almost robbed my child of his bike and I stupidly chased them down into the ghetto that there is nothing you can do about it.  Please tell my neighbors who were robbed point blank at 7 am in the morning last year that it happens.  Stop making excuses and clean it up already.

-Tricia in Denby Park.  Tricia asked that her last name be kept anonymous to protect herself and her loved ones.

Crime reports continue in 300 blocks of Little Creek, San Antonio, and Fort Worth

January 5, 2012

December 2011 brought an increase in the number of reported crimes in the 300 block of E. Little Creek Road, San Antonio Blvd and Fort Worth Ave from 15 in November to 17 in December.  These three blocks continue to exert downward pressure on surrounding communities.

We must continue to focus on the acquisition of the substandard housing in these three blocks that breed crime and blight.  The stats are below:

Crime                   Location                      Date/time
VANDALISM               300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD   12/24/2011 19:00:00
VANDALISM               300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV       12/22/2011 23:07:00
ROBBERY-INDIVIDUAL      300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV       12/22/2011 10:50:00
LARCENY (ALL OTHERS)    300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD   12/18/2011 13:40:00
LARCENY-FROM AUTO       300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD    12/17/2011 23:00:00
VANDALISM               300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD    12/15/2011 22:50:00
LARCENY (ALL OTHERS)    300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD    12/13/2011 13:00:00
VANDALISM               300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD    12/13/2011 11:56:00
NARCOTICS VIOLATIONS    300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV       12/12/2011 10:18:00
NARCOTICS VIOLATIONS    300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV       12/12/2011 10:18:00
VANDALISM               300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD   12/6/2011 22:38:00
December 2011 crime stats for the 300 blocks of San Antonio, Forth Worth, and E. Little Creek Road

December 2011 crime stats for the 300 blocks of San Antonio, Forth Worth, and E. Little Creek Road


300 blocks of E. Little Creek, Fort Worth, and San Antonio continue to be criminal cancer of Wards Corner

December 6, 2011

The 300 blocks of E. Little Creek Road, Fort Worth Ave, and San Antonio Blvd continue to be a criminal cancer for Wards Corner.  In the month of November there were 15 reported crimes in those three blocks.  The crimes committed included aggravated assault, burglary, narcotics, robbery, larceny, vandalism, home invasion, and fraud.

The revitalization of Wards Corner must start with the blighted substandard apartments in these 3 blocks.  The City of Norfolk must continue to purchase those substandard housing blocks.  The result will be less crime in Wards Corner, less substandard housing in our City, and the ability to attract new businesses to the adjacent business district. The statistics for the month of November 2011 are below:

Crime Description:       Location:                      Date/time:
NARCOTICS VIOLATIONS     300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV        11/28/2011 21:35:00
VANDALISM                300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD    11/27/2011 16:50:00
LARCENY (ALL OTHERS)     300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD     11/26/2011 10:45:00
ROBBERY-INDIVIDUAL       300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD     11/21/2011 22:05:00
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT       300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD     11/21/2011 21:54:00
STOLEN VEHICLE           300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD    11/20/2011 20:00:00
LARCENY-FROM AUTO        300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD    11/20/2011 13:20:00
LARCENY-FROM AUTO        300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV        11/19/2011 21:51:00
FRAUD, CREDIT CARD/ATM   300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD    11/19/2011 0:01:00
BURGLARY-RESIDENCE       300 BLOCK SAN ANTONIO BLVD     11/17/2011 20:20:00
VANDALISM                300 BLOCK FORT WORTH AV        11/15/2011 19:20:00
VANDALISM                300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD    11/15/2011 18:00:00
BURGLARY-RESIDENCE       300 BLOCK E LITTLE CREEK RD    11/6/2011 9:00:00
November 2011 crime stats for the 300 blocks of San Antonio, Forth Worth, and E. Little Creek Road

November 2011 crime stats for the 300 blocks of San Antonio, Forth Worth, and E. Little Creek Road

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