PoP PSA – Don’t Do This

I guess I’m a bit sensitive about stuff like this because I get so many emails from people who get their car windows smashed. I seriously saw three examples including the photo above in Cleveland Park. Even if you just have sneakers or gym clothes in a backback, please don’t leave bags in a parked car or there is a good chance you will get your window smashed.

Also, don’t clip your nails on the metro…

30 Comment

  • PoP is right — someone smashed my window for a candy bar. Left a bag of quarters they found in the armrest (for meters) but sat in the car and ate the candy bar they spotted in the back seat.

    • That sucks. I would laugh over the pathetic nature of the crime, but the hassle must have ruined your day/week, and that would be mean.

      Well, I guess that’s what insurance is for. I cannot even imagine how expensive car insurance is in the district.

      I do have to ask–was the candy burglar caught?

      • Surprisingly, my car insurance went down $800/year when I moved to Petworth from “downtown” Silver Spring, then down another $400/year when I moved to Bloomingdale. Makes no sense to me, but they told me they use the area accident rates as the gauge, moreso than vehicle thefts/break-ins.

        • My insurance was lower in DC than it is in Virginia. I think the increased commute makes costly accidents a lot more likely.

      • I had to pay for the window. I still reported it to the cops because I wanted them to know there had been a rash of smash-and-grabs in our neighborhood, but they were not happy to come out and take the report. They took four hours and several calls to show up and the officer ate sour Skittles and acted annoyed the whole five minutes he was here.

  • The MPD should stake out a few bait cars.

  • Please also do a post about not leaving dogs in cars. It was so hot on Saturday and I saw a Chihuahua in a car on 16th Street. They had left the windows cracked, but it’s so cruel to leave any living thing in a car on a hot day!

  • It’s simple. Keep the interior of your car clean, leave NOTHING visible inside it, and ALWAYS use the club.

    My old car i just got rid of had about $10,000 worth of stereo equipment in it that was never once touched by thieves during the 12 years I had the thing parked on the street, either in capitol hill, dupont or mount pleasant. All they had to do was lift up the back seat and see mission control up under it. I didn’t even have a car alarm, which i think are huge wastes of money. Another tip if you have a good stereo is to turn it off before you get to your street. To tell the truth, i never really even worried about it because i knew thieves would see the club and clean interior and move on. The average, crackhead thieves i mean.

    But yeah, leaving ANYTHING visible (even a quarter or umbrella or ANYTHING that may have value) is really really stupid and only invites theft.

    • Please dont confuse stupidity with messiness.

    • do ya’ll see many crackheads these days?

      i don’t really see that many anymore.

      • sadly, there are quite a few proud crack smokers on my stretch of georgia ave. i only know this because i frequently see these folks who love to reminisce (loudly) with one and other about the last time they smoked crack together. surprisingly, this is usually occurs in between the carry-out and the liquor store. in one case, i saw one man who had clearly gotten clean get verbally assaulted by a crackhead who thought he was acting too legit to smoke up with her anymore.

        there are tons of smash-and-grabs in our hood but most have been blamed on teenagers despite no one being caught in the act.

        in other news, i was driving back from silver spring yesterday and estimated/calculated that there is one carry-out for about every 2.1 city blocks on georgia ave (and one “illegal” farmer’s market). that’s gotta be healthy…

      • No, that’s true, I haven’t seen any in the last year, but did see some in Fall 2008.

      • There’s an (old?) lady at that 24 hour mart on upper Georgia who is quite definitely a crackhead. She offered to score me some – I was wearing a navy blue suit and going in to buy a gallon of milk.

    • Second the cleaning thing. Somehow piles of food wrappers and sodey pop bottles leads our more accomplished residents to envision bundles of cash and smash the windows…

  • My car is completely clean, and I don’t have anything of value in it period.
    When I lived in Cleveland, someone STILL broke into it.
    All they ended up taking was a ladybug CD case with a bunch of burned CDs – Change was untouched.

    Moral of the story: People with nothing but time on their hands will do what they please, when they please, including being destructive just to be destructive.
    And make sure that your insurance covers glass, because mine did not at the time.

    But yes, I agree, do not be so silly as to leave belongings in plain view in your car.

  • Sure it is silly to leave valuable things in cars but sadly people still do.

    I live in PSA 107 on this Hill and in the last 2 community meetings the LT said that car break-ins are the hot crime (my words) and he had officers put notes on the cars where computers, GPS, and other valuable items were left visible telling the car owners that there had been a series of break ins and leaving valuables wasn’t a good idea. I thought it was a good idea but couldn’t help wondering why people were that stupid and why the police had to spend time telling people what should have been obvious. Of course that is not to say that a car wouldn’t have been broken into anyway but at least nothing valuable would have been stolen.

  • Totally agree with you here, PoP.

    It doesn’t matter that the bag has no value in it. You know that, but the person smashing your window doesn’t. You need to think about how much your window costs.

    I know that it would be nice to think that these things don’t happen and that your car is safe, but it’s not really that way.

  • So here’s a question…

    What would you do if you saw a car on the street that had clearly been broken into? Would you call the cops? I’m wondering if there’s anything that a passerby would or should do about this. There are always going to be people who leave stuff in their cars, and crackheads are always going to smash-and-grab. I’m wondering if anyone has a responsibility to report this kind of thing before the owner finds it.

    • This has happened on my street a couple of times over the last 6 months. Each time I made a call and reported the broken window along with the plate number. I don’t know how effective this was, because each time the car stayed in the same place for a few days.

      (Captcha: Philosophical pitying) More like real pitying.

    • I’ve actually called the police when I saw a car had been broken into (the guy was still inside at the time), but the police never showed up. I don’t think they ever notified the owner either since there didn’t look like there was an effort to patch the window the next day. I know I was never called when my car was broken into and my neighbor called the police to reoprt it. The guy was also still there when that call was made.

  • I, for one, am offended.

  • I was walking home from Eastern Market a couple of months ago. I came across a broken car window, there was plugged in car charger still on the front passanger seat, and it appeared obvious that the thief had taken a phone left in plane site. I called it in to be a good citizen. The 911 operator told me that if I wasn’t going to stay around to give a report they would not even dispatch someone becasue it was a waste of time. I said I would stay around for the officer to come, and I would give the officer a report (mind you I didn’t have much to say, having not see the crime occur and not knowing whose car it was). I waited for 20 minutes, no one came. I called back, the 911 dispatcher was able to look up my intial call to 911, and I provided my cell phone number so any officer dispatched could find me. No one ever called me.

    It is sad, but in city where the police take over a day to responde to an honor role student getting killed for refusing to give random people a ride in his car (see today’s Washington Post) cops apparently have no room to respond to small time theft/vandalism.

    [cue the random insults telling me to go back to where I came from if I don’t like life in the big-bad city, no matter that you have no idea where I actually came from]

    • I had a house broken into around Eastern Market. The downstairs was so ransacked that I didn’t dare walk in. Despite knowing that there still could be dangerous people lurking inside, the police took at least 45 minutes to show up. And when they did show up there were five of them, who didn’t do much except stand around cracking jokes about the situation. Sadly, it’s not worth calling the police in these situations unless you need the police report to file an insurance claim.

    • A couple of years ago we tried to report an attempted car break — it wasn’t our car but saw someone leaving the scene. The dispatch wouldn’t send someone because they said it “wasn’t our car.” Yes, that is right — they wouldn’t come to the scene of the crime because the person reporting it was not the owner of the vehicle.

  • Yeah that nail clipping has to stop people!

  • I just had this happen to my car last week.
    I stupidly left a backpack in my car as I was afraid to be late to a work meeting. (I’m a teacher)

    Told myself I would go out after the meeting, but I got too busy.
    Hours later, smashed window and had to wait for 1 1/2 hours until the police finally showed up!
    A friend tried to stop a police car driving down the street, but the officer said “it’s not my ward”
    really? i felt like asking him what he was even doing in that ward then…

    i learned a hard lesson. luckily I have full glass coverage…but no homeowners=nothing else is replaced…

  • Ditto on the club. And ack – the nail clipping! Three times in the last six months I’ve had to ask people to stop clipping their nails on the train, who look at me like I’m the rude one.

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