Home invasion in Denby Park

June 9, 2015

299661While the City has made great strides in Denby Park by purchasing some of the substandard housing and tearing it down, there continues to be a criminal element plaguing that neighborhood.  This is why Wards Corner Now and the Wards Corner Task Force continue to support the implementation of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan which calls for the acquisition and demolition of the undesirable housing and the replacement thereof with a mixed use development, making use of the Uptown Norfolk concept.

According to the Virginian-Pilot, on June 9, 2015:

Two men burst into a home this morning in the 300 block of E. Little Creek Road and stole a man’s vehicle and other items.

The home invasion was reported at 4 a.m., a police news release says.

The resident suffered minor injuries and was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

The man’s vehicle is described as a 2002 gray Chevrolet Trail Blazer with Ohio license plates.

No description was given of the two robbers.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Robbery Division at 664-7032, or Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP


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.

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.

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.



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 crimemapping.com

Greater Wards Corner Task Force Notes – May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012

Thank you to Karen Mayne of the Suburban Acres Civic League for providing the following notes from the Greater Wards Corner Task Force meeting held on May 10, 2012.

The meeting was led by Councilwoman Terry Whibley and Councilman Barclay Winn.

Crime Report – Officer Odell Davis reported 9 crimes in the Wards Corner area for the month of April, including 8 larcenies and 1 robbery; 5 arrests were made. Denby Park area reported 8 crimes, including 1 homicide (suspect arrested), 1 aggravated assault, 1 robbery, and 5 larcenies.

Wards Corner Redevelopment – Work continues by the Department of Development on attracting tenants to the Wards Corner area, including the Suburban Park Shopping Center and the Mid-Town Shopping Center. Two medical users are looking at a 10,000 square foot sized facility and are competing for the same space (southwest section of Granby Street). Kroger has not made a decision on whether it will leave its current space or try to acquire the Work Force Center space to enlarge. Farm Fresh has started renovations and will use the “cold storage building” for construction materials, after which it is hoped the building will be torn down and redeveloped. Mid-Town Shopping Center owner is considering selling the flag lot behind the post office as part of a larger redevelopment of that section. The owner of Guadalajara
restaurants owns the old pub/restaurant building on the southwest side of Granby Street and has approached the City about opening a Guadalajara restaurant in that space. Sufficient parking may be a limiting factor. It was expressed at the meeting that a dance venue (like at some of the other Guadalajaras) would be problematic in this location. The City is talking with representatives of Sears regarding the K-Mart store; there are 15 years left on the K-Mart lease,
but the City hopes the property can be redeveloped. The property is not zoned to include a grocery store.

The Department of Public Works received a very rough estimate on the costs of putting utilities underground at Wards Corner. That rough estimate was $11 million for the area along Granby Street from Louisiana Drive to Tausig Boulevard and along Little Creek Road from Interstate 64 to Granby Street. The general costs run about $800,000 a block (both sides) but costs would vary by block depending on construction constraints. The City Council representatives and Task Force members requested that Public Works get a firm cost estimate for just the southeast corner of Wards Corner (bounded by Louisiana Avenue and Virginian Drive) so that the City can determine if there are funds to move the utilities underground in that quadrant while the Suburban Park Shopping Center is being redeveloped.

Denby Park Apartment Demolition Project – The contractor has started work. Two of the buildings should be demolished by May 11, a third building demolished by May 25, and the entire project demolished by June 8. The contractor will remove all parking lots, remove curb cuts, and cover the area with top soil. The City will put in sidewalks.

Tidewater Drive – The City will be doing pothole repairs along the section of Tidewater Drive between Thole Street and Little Creek Road once the utility work is completed.

Community Reports:

Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church had a major fire last week and repairs will be extensive.

Thole Street – The City is looking again at a traffic study to determine if any additional traffic calming measures can be taken. Curb cuts have been completed to drain standing water out of the medians and a landscaping plan has been developed.

There was discussion of changing the meeting frequency of the Wards Corner Task Force to bi-monthly, since community representation at the meetings varies and it is a time commitment from City staff and Council representatives. Civic league representatives were unanimous in saying that monthly meetings are important during this time period when so many decisions are being made about redevelopment in the greater Wards Corner area. All seemed to agree that the task force should focus on issues of larger concern and not issues that the civic leagues should bring up directly to the appropriate City departments.

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


Commercial Crime Report

December 12, 2011

The following email was forwarded to Wards Corner Now.  Please be safe this Holiday season.

On 12/7/11 at 4:15 PM a robbery to an individual occurred at 205 E. Little Creek Road, Kroger Parking Lot.  A suspect in a black dodge driving with a handicap lift gate in the rear of the vehicle pulled behind the victims vehicle while she was loading her groceries into her truck.  Suspect pulled out a firearm and stole victims purse.  Suspect vehicle was last seen on E. Little Creek Road.  ( Please be observant when out in the public.  This robbery happened in broad day light and in a crowded parking lot.  Always keep your wits about you.)

On 12/7/11 at 7:44 PM a commercial robbery occurred at 1033 W. Little Creek Road, Universal Marts.  Two black males suspects entered the business and displayed a silver firearm.  Both males tall, and skinny wearing dark pants, dark green hoodies, and black ski mask.  Last seen running East bound on W. Little Cree Road.

On 12/7/11 at 10:20 PM a commercial robbery occurred at 1011 W. Little Creek Road, Little Ceasers.   Two black males both about 6”00 think build, both wearing ski mask entered the business and displayed a shot gun and demanded money.  After receiving the money they left the business and was last seen on foot heading towards Hampton blvd.

If you know anything about these crimes please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCKUUP.  You can be anonymous and if your tip leads to an arrest you could receive a cash reward.

Business Watch Coordinator
Norfolk Police Department Crime Prevention Section
Office: 757-664-6901 Fax: 757-664-6911

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

VP reporting Officer involved in shooting on Texas streets

September 6, 2011

The Pilot is reporting:

Police are on the scene of an officer-involved shooting in the 400 block of Fort Worth Ave, dispatchers said.

The incident happened around 7 a.m., but police have not released any information.

It was unclear whether anyone was injured.

Fort Worth Avenue is near East Little Creek Road.

Update, 9/6/2011 @ 11:26am:

The Virginian-Pilot has the following details:

An officer was sent to the South Wind complex in the 400 block of Fort Worth Ave. around 7 a.m. on a report that someone was tampering with a vehicle, said Officer Chris Amos, police spokesman. The officer parked perpendicular behind the vehicle, had gotten out of his patrol car and began verbally challenging the man when he put his vehicle in reverse.

The car went backward and hit the police vehicle, pushing it into the officer, who fired, Amos said. The officer wasn’t hurt.

The man pushed the patrol car out of the way and was able to turn around and head west on Fort Worth a short distance before crashing into a vehicle parked on the street, Amos said. The officer followed, but no other shots were fired.

Police broke out the driver’s side window of the vehicle to try to help the man, who died inside the car.

Virginian-Pilot’s Editorial page pushes WC revitalization

August 22, 2011

The article is here.

Notable quotes:

The city found a way to accomplish what it intended for Denby Park, even without eminent domain powers: It negotiated with property owners to buy derelict apartments so it could tear them down.

Wards Corner residents hailed the move as the beginning of change. That’s what it is: a beginning. If tearing down the Denby apartments helps reduce crime, that also removes one more obstacle to investment.

Residents should keep up the pressure on current property owners to improve their buildings, especially in the neighborhood’s commercial core. So should city officials.

Wards Corner’s future depends on using the momentum created by the purchase of Denby Park to accelerate improvement. Don’t coast now and squander that opportunity.


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