Friday, April 27, 2012

Theft from autos: watch out, and can you help a victim?

Theft from autos is a big problem in our neighborhood -- you should always make sure you don't keep anything of value in your car, and if you do, hide it. Even seeing the brackets for holding MP3 players or GPS units can alert thieves to what's in there. Sometimes crooks will even break in just to steal small change from the dash or console. And sometimes, no matter what you do, you just might get unlucky anyway.

A reader sent me this, can anyone help? If you have any info, email me at newcolumbiaheights(at)gmail(dot)com and I'll pass it on to the reader.

And as always, even if you don't think the police can help, call them. They track all crimes and can use that information to focus on certain areas or types of crimes, even if they aren't able to catch the criminal in your case.

Here's the reader's story:

I think it would be fair to caution to your readers, however trivial or self-evident, that it is really important to keep their personal items out of view in their car, even when parking in a well-traveled, well-lit area. Indeed, my items werent even in view, only a power cord coming out from a backpack under my driver-side seat. 
My car was broken into last night at Newton and Holmead, in front of the church. In front of a house of worship! It seems as though several attempts were made at a back window which they were unable to break, leading me to believe that residents in the area may have heard something or seen something which is why I am writing to you to see if you could broadcast on my behalf.
Along with various electronics (including my a 15in MacBook pro - Serial W8049847AGU), they took a book bag with various items of sentimental value, to include a copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being which was not mine and several LSAT books (not sentimental, actually hated, but valuable).  
If you, or anyone you know, has any information on this, I would be indebted.


  1. I also noticed broken glass out hear Park and Holmead two nights ago.

    Not to make too light of your situation, but maybe he did you a favor by taking those LSAT prep books. Going to law school is a complete racket and a waste of your time and money. Don't do it.

  2. Sorry, but this goes in the category of "duh." You should know not to ever leave anything in your car. Ever. I guess there there needs to be a DC users guide... This tidbit would be in it.

  3. LMAO at leaving a MBP in your car.

  4. C'mon people, let's not be Prince of Petworth commenters here.

  5. I agree don't be PoP commenters in general, but this is such a no brainer it deserves a bit of snarky comments.

    even my midwest family knows to not even leave a penny in view when they come to visit.

  6. some tricky bastards broken into my car parked 5 feet away from where i sleep. tough luck for them since their big pay-off was a whopping $3 and some change kept for emergency tolls.

  7. I agree that it's prudent for all of us to hide our valuables, but it sounds like that's exactly what the soon-to-be-law-student (unsuccessfully) did. We should give him/her a break!

    Sometimes it's hard not to become desensitized to crime around here, but the truth is that it's ridiculous that we all have to hide everything that resembles anything even semi-desirable -- otherwise we're "asking for" hundreds of dollars in damages to our vehicles.

    I think you're on the right track by saying we should all be more assertive in reporting things to the police. Even if it's just someone meddling around looking suspicious (I saw a guy peering into car windows at 5am once -- not doing anything illegal but still very suspicious), I think the cops should be called, so a message can be sent to everyone walking around that criminal activity will not be shrugged off in our neighborhood.


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