“The Bicycle Thief” by MPD, Shooting Near H St, NE and Muggings on Cap. Hill

The Bicycle Thief, Film Poster, 1948

The Bicycle Thief is a classic Italian film so I was intrigued by an MPD email that simply had in the title – The Bicycle Thief. Not as poetic as the film but still an important message:

This was no run of the mill burglary for the sake of stealing bicycles. Yesterday morning at about 8:45 a.m., a suspect was observed on camera breaking into a rear garage in the 4700 blk of Connecticut Ave. N.W. Once inside, he walked two bicycles out the door and moments later was observed cutting away the locks on two more which he promptly rolled out the door and then made good his escape.

As much as it pains me to tell all of you that your unattended bicycles should not be considered safe if locked to railings or fences inside private garages, the fact of the matter is they are not. Our officers canvass alleys and streets for suspicious activity but the reality is, we won’t be able to see it all as it goes down. We rely heavily on your help to bring us to the bad guys. We also need your help with removing the low hanging fruit that allows the benefits to outweigh the costs.

I cannot express with greater emphasis the importance of not doing the things that, once upon a time, sufficed to prevent crime. We live in a very different time and all of us need to ramp up our effort. If you need any pointers on what you can do to make your property more safe, I am happy to give you my undivided attention. Please call me to schedule a visit or to just get some advice over the phone.

Thank You, Lt. Victor S. Braschnewitz

Ed. Note: We discussed some of our favorite foreign films here.

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MPD writes:

“Officers responded to a call for the sounds of gunshots in the rear of 900 blk 10th St NE. Once on the scene, they located 3 shell casings. Crime Scene Search responded and processed the scene. A canvass for subjects was also conducted with negative results.”

MPD Alert of muggings on Capitol Hill after the jump.

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MPD writes:

“On Friday night at around 9pm, a lone female was walking north on 11th Street SE while holding an Apple I-phone in her hand. A man approached her from behind, put her in a head-lock and took her to the ground. The suspect then snatched the I-phone from her hand and fled south bound. The suspect was described by the complainant as a black male, 24-27 years of age, 5’6″-5’9″ in height, with a medium build, with dark complexion, a black hat, green jacket, and black pants.

In addition, on Sunday, October 24, 2010, at approximately 10pm, a young lady was walking south in the 300 block of 9th Street SE. Two young men approached her from behind, grabbed her purse and wrestled it from her control, and fled on foot. Suspect #1 was described as a black male with medium complexion, medium build, black jacket, and blue pants-nothing further. Suspect #2 was described only as a black male.

As a result of these two incidents, we have increased our nightime patrol in that particular area. Also, please be mindful of walking alone and visibly carrying valuables after dark-ESPECIALLY the latest cell phones. Anyone witnessing any behavior they consider suspicious, please call 911 immediately with a full description of the persons and behavior witnessed. Do NOT second guess yourself, if something doesn’t look right to you, call 911 immediately.”

13 Comment

  • Is it just me or has “low hanging fruit” become everyone’s favorite corporate catch phrase.

    • Low hanging fruit?

      If a bike is locked inside of a garage… how has that been set up as low hanging fruit? I had to read this a few times to understand it…

      “Our officers canvass alleys and streets for suspicious activity but the reality is, we won’t be able to see it all as it goes down. We rely heavily on your help to bring us to the bad guys. We also need your help with removing the low hanging fruit that allows the benefits to outweigh the costs.”

      This guy isn’t picking apples…stealing bikes is what this A-hole DOES! He’s fearless, because MPD is passive about vehicle theft. They will NEVER find your property or catch a mope unless you are chasing the thief with your cellphone to your ear.

      What I am hearing (As someone who has been robbed of thousands of dollars worth of wheeled items this year) is that unless you tuck your bike into your own bed at night, and chain it to your ankle…you run the risk of having your sh*$ took.

      The alternative is to be half-vigilante, half-informant and steer police towards thieves. A risky proposition, as the people who are unscrupulous about stealing also have zero-scruples about violence. If anyone wants to set up rotating patrols in their neighborhood to stave off theft… be my guest, but you better be packin.

      OK… so my bitchy rant does nothing to help… so let me just toss out something productive…Here it goes:


      I can not accept theft as the “Price of Admission” for living in Petworth. To quote my favorite movie, “I can not abide another toe, Mr. Lebowski.”

      ALSO…Crack down on parts dealers! Sellers AND Buyers… Set up some fake CL adds and try to catch people hawking bike parts with no VIN.

      I see that add on craigslist alot and often wonder if that is where my bike has ended up.

      ANYWAYS… does anyone else have any ideas? I know his mind is in the right place…and there are practical limitations to policing a city like this…but, I don’t find Lt. Braschnewitz’s email brings forward any solution to the rampant thefts in our city.

      • I don’t think he was referring to this incident as low hanging fruit. I think he meant in general they would like us not to make it easy on the criminals. That’s how I read it at least.

      • It’s probably a youth. Can’t effectively punish them even if you catch them.

        Thanks Mendo!

  • That explains the 2 MPD officers that walked down Independence from Eastern Market past 13th yesterday.

  • So sick of hearing about all the crime committed by young black kids in this city. Time to bust some heads, let’s start tackling their women as they walk down the street and put them in headlocks and see how they like it! Suckeee!

    • I’m not a criminal, but I am a black man and I am taking offense to that comment. Also if I’d ever catch someone like you or anyone else doing that I will most likely make sure you won’t see day again. I think you know better than that though.

    • I’m a straight up honkey and I take offense at that comment. Here’s a hint about life: nothing is monolithic. Not all blacks are the same, and not all whites are either. Am I the same as Charles Manson? I don’t think so. Are you? possibly.

  • Locks only serve to keep the honestly inclined honest. If someone targets your things, there is simply nothing you can really do about it. Yes you can reduce the chances they will not give up and move on to say your neighbor who has fewer barriers, but the human mind is too resourceful to ever be thwarted.

  • me

    This is bull. I think I’ve said this before, that I have called the police when people were in the process of breaking into our shared garage and stealing bikes, and when the cops showed up after the crime had been committed (they showed up almost a half hour later, after 2 calls to 911) they reprimanded me about wasting their time. I have no respect for DC police.

  • I saw the guys who stole from the drunk girl on 300 BLK of 9th ST SE. Unfortunately, I only saw one in the light and he wasn’t the one who left with her purse. I gave the cops a better description of one, but apparently they thought I was kidding.

    He was a medium height medium complected male with short nappy hair wearing a Grey polo shirt and dusty jeans/black sneakers, late teens early 20s.
    They split up at the end of the alley on 300 blk of 8th ST and the one I saw ran towards PA ave and then walked calmly towards 9t ST when he got to the park. The other guy ran btwn the White building that housed Eastern Market and the Hine Parking lot where he ditched her purse sans wallet.

    AND the racist comments need to go. “Lets grab their women?!??” What makes you think these perps own women or give a f*ck about the ones you seem to think you own? AJ, YOU DON’T OWN ME CAUSE WE ARE THE SAME COMPLECTION. Get the f*ck outta here with that bullshit. I don’t believe violence is the answer, but if you would smack some of the bad taste out of your mouth for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.

    The two young perps hit that girl up, cause she was drunk, carelessly holding her purse AND on the phone or texting, not because she is WHITE. It’s open season on any skin tone if you are going to be careless. Do you really think there is no black on black crime or any other race? Really?

    Bottom line is, this is DC. There is crime. Just give a description, we don’t need the emotional baggage or the bigotry.

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