RICHMOND — Prostitutes walk past their businesses or even approach their customers.
They find needles in restroom trash cans.
They put up with panhandlers in their parking lots.
About 25 representatives of businesses in the East Main Street corridor from 10th to 20th streets spent an hour Wednesday afternoon discussing with Richmond Police Department officers the crime problem they are experiencing in their area. RPD initiated the meeting after noticing an uptick in calls for service along that stretch of Main Street, with many of those calls to the McDonald's at 18th and Main streets.
That McDonald's will soon close and be rebuilt, chasing some of that crime to new locations.
"I guess it does now," said Jae Shilling, vice president of the Wendy's franchise at 18th and Main about whether that crime migration worries him. "I wasn't aware of the extent of problems they were having, so I'm very concerned. It's even more important we're watching what's going on outside and inside."
Shilling had shared with those gathered at AJ's Main Street Diner that Wendy's employees find needles in restroom trash cans. Lt. Donnie Benedict, Capt. Paul Phillips and Chief Jim Branum all described to the business representatives how important it is to report any occurrences. They also urged the businesses take photos of people or vehicles causing problems.