Crime up in Chase City for 2017
Chase City Police Chief J.A. Jordan will tell you point blank that 2017 has been a tough year in Chase City. After more than a decade of low crime, the town is finishing up a year with several unsolved shootings on the books, several robberies and of course, evidence of the opium epidemic sweeping the country.
Speaking this week, Chief Jordan said that the community entered the year with the unsolved murder of Michael Stewart from October of 2016. It was the first murder reported in the town in a dozen years. It wasn’t the last.
In January of 2017, the body of Dwight Tucker, Jr. was found in his vehicle in the 1000 block of Boyd Street. Tucker had died from a gunshot wound. Now, nearly a year later, both crimes remain under investigation.
“Police have been constantly working on both cases,” said Chief Jordan this week. “Both families are well known in the community.”
Other shootings in Chase City in 2017 include an incident reported at Cannery Row Apartments last summer. The name of the victim, visiting at the time of the shooting, was not released and the wounds were not considered life threatening. Zycor White was arrested and charged with malicious wounding in the case.
A second shooting reported in October also remains under investigation as the year winds down. According to police, the incident took place near the South Central Fairgrounds. The victim drove himself to a home in the Clarksville area before reporting the shooting. According to Chief Jordan, the victim’s name was not released and there are no leads. Robbery, said Chief Jordan, is thought to have been the motive in the shooting.
Just outside of Chase City at Green Acres Trailer Park, yet another shooting was reported earlier this month. Although outside the town limits, Officers with the CCPD were the first law enforcement on the scene and found Melvin Hatcher, Jr. suffering from a single gunshot wound to the face. Hatcher was transported to to VCU-Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill and later to VCU-Medical Center in Richmond where at last report, he remained in serious but stable condition. Two investigators with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department are working on the case.
In November, a work crew clearing right of ways on a large lot of Main Street discovered the skeletal remains of a human. The identity of the person remains unknown but the Chase City Police Department is treating the case as a death investigation pending the return of a report from the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond.
There have also been several robberies reported in the area and Chase City recorded one home invasion early in the year. That case, said Chief Jordan, was solved with arrests made.
A robbery at the A Plus convenience store earlier this year remains under investigation. Chief Jordan said this week that there are suspects in the case that are thought to have been involved in several other similar robberies in the region.
The news on drugs, according to Chief Jordan, is mixed. Although Chase City continues to have a drug problem as do other areas of the country, Jordan added that Chase City is no longer “the drug capital” of the area.
“Like everywhere else in the nation, the opioid situation is critical at this point,” said Chief Jordan. “The task force is using all of it’s resources and manpower trying to combat that problem. We’re no longer the drug capital in the area,” he added. “Now, the opioid epidemic is of nationwide proportion . I’d say a lot of the heroin and opioids are coming in are from other areas and states. There have been overdoses and deaths in the county but in Chase City, we’ve seen one overdose. Chase City is not at the top of the list.”
Jordan did, however, say that he feels much of the increase in crime in the area can be attributed to drugs and gang activity.
“Up until this year, for the last decade or more, our crime statistics had been low; until this year,” said Chief Jordan. “A lot of it comes back to drugs,” said Jordan, adding that he felt gang activity was also part of the problem. “I would say that there has been known gang activity in Chase City.”
For 2018, Chief Jordan said his department will continue to work to solve the two unsolved murders on the books. “That remains our number one priority,” said Chief Jordan, adding that he hopes the new year will mark a return to a low crime rate.