DANVILLE, Va. -

A convenience store is a great place hear what's going on in a community,
Preston Cobbs noticed something in Danville from his customers.

"People are really looking for jobs and they're really looking for entertainment," Cobbs said. "When you don't have the proper things you result to crime."

He says the lack of what he calls "good distractions" are why there's been a recent jump in crime, a trend he says has gotten worse.

"It's wide spreading now. They're moving around in different neighborhoods doing what they're doing," Cobbs said.

Three people have been killed in Danville since September 30th. On that day a man wearing a scream mask stabbed another man to death. Danville police say there have been more violent crimes in the last month and a half.

"Typically around the holidays we see a spike in crime. Sometimes it will be very brief, sometimes it will be violent crime. It's difficult to predict but it's not unusual to have a spike around a holiday," said Lt. Mike Wallace. He says investigators don't believe all the crimes are related, most likely neither are the offender and the victim.

"Unless it's people being in close proximity with each other we typically have more people in the city around that time doing shopping and things like that which brings people into a position to be victimized," Wallace said.

Wallace wouldn't say if one section of the city sees more crime than others. But Denny Nash who's lived near North Main Street for more than 20 years says violent crimes aren't as frequent.

"It used to be a time where you couldn't walk on this street without someone harassing you, but now it's gotten a whole lot better," Nash said.

Danville police say people shouldn't be on edge but should pay more attention.

"Sometimes it doesn't hurt to be less focused on your digital media at times, your iPads and your telephones. Those are good devices, especially if you do see a crime or a victim use them, pick them up, call us, but inattention of people sometimes cause them to be a victim," Wallace said.

Stop the Violence, and Danville United, are two more groups working with Danville police and leaders to stop racial profiling and violent crimes.