Dear PoP – “What kind of punk steals a little kid’s wagon??”

Photo by flickr user mbgrigby

“Dear PoP,

Just hoping the PoP crowd can keep an eye out for my kid’s wagon. Radio Flyer All-Terrain model, red, with wood top rails and big tires. It was swiped off my porch in Columbia Heights (near Holmead) on Saturday sometime between grocery shopping (6pm) and bedtime (9pm). I’m hoping some kids took it for a joyride and ditched it somewhere. Yes, I know, it’s probably already been sold for drug money. And yes, I know, I shouldn’t leave anything out that’s not nailed down. I was lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that my porch furniture, stroller, and garden implements have always stayed put. Thanks for the extra eyes.”

I once saw one of these locked up and found it curious. It’s a sad state of affairs that these have to be locked up like a bicycle. If anyone happens to spot this one please email me and I’ll put you in contact with the reader.

29 Comment

  • (I venture to predict a frenzy of polarized comments on this one.)

    • Hard to imagine comments being polarized on this… I mean, who’s gonna defend the theft of a kid’s wagon?
      What sorts of arguments are you expecting to hear? (this is an honest question, btw, not meant to be snarky).

      • I’m expecting to hear “If you can’t be bothered to lock up every item you leave unattended on your property, then move back to the suburbs!”

        The irony: I live in the suburbs and a kid’s wagon would be stolen from my yard if I left it out.

  • I had a (large) potted plant stolen from my front porch. Maybe they stole your wagon so they could come pick it up?

    • Since we’re getting close to pumpkin season, I’d like to know what ideas people have for not getting those stolen. I love the look of a jolly pumpkin perched on the front porch, but you can’t lock them up, and kids love to take them.

      • after halloween last year I realized how awesome jack-o-lanterns on top of every house on the block would look. I really want to do that…hope the neighbors don’t mind.

      • In a neighborhood where jack o’ lanterns and Xmas decorations are stolen (happened to me on multiple occasions) and where people come into your yard and pick your full-bloom flowers growing out of the ground (ditto), it’s no surprise that the unlocked wagon, which has some actual value, gets lifted.

        But to answer the title question of the post about what kind of punks these are, they are CH’s kind of punks. This sucks, and it only reinforces the lesson you already knew, but it’s a reminder that this is a part of the world where there are enough bad apples to ruin everybody’s fun, even if it’s obviously a little kid’s fun. A sad-but-true fact of life. My eyes are open, and I hope you get it back.

  • the thief probably gave it to their kid or nephew or little cousin, so at least someone is enjoying it.

  • Look for it at your closest housing project. It’s probably in the hands of a 14-year-old.

  • Yeah, I live in Georgetown and I live with the constant assumption that anthing that isn’t bolted to the ground will “go for a walk” if I leave it outside. Thats just the assumption of urban living, more so in place like CH.

  • “I live with the constant assumption that anthing that isn’t bolted to the ground will “go for a walk” if I leave it outside.”

    -Exactly. I had a snow shovel stolen from my front porch during one of the last winter storms during a 2 hour window in broad daylight when it was left outside. Luckily I had finished using it.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if that wagon is already in the suburbs somewhere. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a kid in my ‘hood riding in one of them. It was probably grabbed by someone from outside the neighborhood driving by, as opposed to neighborhood kids.

  • Maybe it was taken by an addict who wanted to get “on the wagon.”

  • keep a look out in the alleys for your wagon. My neighbor had her babies stroller taken from her front porch. It happened between the time it took her to take her baby out of the stroller, bring her inside and walk back out.

    It turned up the next morning a few alleys down the street. It looked like someone stole it for a joy ride (not even joking).

    Some teenagers probably took it because they thought it be funny to run some hills in it. They most likely ditched it when they got bored.

  • On the bright side, the folks that tend to walk away with things seem to lack any discerning judgment. I have found this a great way to rid myself of things that I can’t fit into the city provided trash can. I treat it as a free haul-away service.

  • The other day, on the metro, I noticed that a woman left behind her smart trip on the seat. A man sat down and, as he was exiting at u street (same as me), took the card. I assumed he was going to give it to the station manager. He walked up the escalator, passed the station manager, and went straight to the kiosk to see how much $ was on the card and then pocketed it. I went up to him and said, “Excuse me. That lady accidentally left that behind.” He replied, “so what?” dumb-founded, I said, “if you don’t turn it in, you’re stealing!” at this point, he started to get mad. He yelled,”what do you want me to do about it!?” “why, return it to the station manager, of course” i said. he thought about this and then huffed over to the manager to return it, only because I called him out on it. Upon doing this I said, “Now don’t you feel better about yourself?” and he yelled, “NO!!” 
    That made me sad that he had such little regard to another person’s property/money and was full on intending to steal the card. This wasn’t the case of a $20 bill lying on the ground with no one around, we both clearly saw her drop it and he went in for the steal. Mind you, this was a 40-50 year old man, not just some dumb kid.

    • I’m confused… if you saw the woman leave the card, why didn’t you tell her? Also, picking up an abandoned item in a public place is a bit different than deliberately going onto someone’s property and taking it.

      • I didn’t notice the card until she already exited and the seat was empty. If I saw her drop it, I would have immediately called attention to it. It is the same when you see someone drop it, which is why I differentiated between this incident and finding random money on the street with no one around. A SmartTrip has identifiable information on it, if it’s registered, and the money could be returned to the owner. It’s also akin to seeing someone drop their wallet and not returning it to them or making an effort to track them down to return it. You make a choice: you can steal the SmartTrip, or you can try to return it to its owner.

    • you just made the city a tiny bit better.
      thank you.
      we always need more people like you.

  • My Cozy Coupe was stolen out of my front yard in Germantown when I was around 4 or 5, along with its precious cargo trunk stuffed with grass, acorns,Orko and Snake Eyes action figures. It was carefully parked between this one rock I found and the azalea bush. Mind you, this was close to 30 years ago – and it irks me to this day.
    I’ll keep an eye out for your kid’s wagon. I have a score to settle.

  • – For several years I hauled my two then-little girls (they’re now in college) around the neighborhood in a wagon. After a scare — it turned up in another part of the schoolyard from where I’d parked it — I tethered it to something with a light bike lock whenever I wasn’t pulling it.

    – Families with small children on my Capitol Hill block routinely store their strollers outside, locked to their porches or iron fences. (I kept that wagon outside also, though I hauled the actual strollers that preceded it inside.)

    – I also routinely leave extra construction materials, furniture, books, etc. outside my iron fence to disappear. Once I put out about 10 bags of walnuts the tree in my back yard had dumped; I even saw the last two walking away in somebody’s arms.

    • on your last point: that’s one of things I’ve always loved about living in a city. If you didn’t want something but didn’t really want to chuck it in the landfill, you could always put it on the curb and more often than not, it would walk within an hour.

      …then I discovered Freecycle. Now I don’t have to junk up the front of my house.

  • Someone would steal Jesus if he wasn’t nailed to a cross.

    At least someone didn’t jack you for the Radio Flyer at gunpoint.

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