Dear PoP – Don’t Leave Valuables or Anything in your Car

“Dear PoP,

I was walking back home from work today on Florida ave, and I noticed 2 cars between 11th and 13th, NW with their windows smashed in on the south side of the Cardozo’s field. I remember over the summer you wrote about cars being broken into in the same location after someone sent you an email and I know how many times you have written about people leaving valuable property in the open inside their cars, so I thought I’d send you this email along with some pictures of the cars.”

This is a PoP PSA I give over and over again. This is especially true for folks who park on Florida Ave, NW near Cardozo High School. Please don’t leave anything at all in your cars. If you must – leave the item in your trunk. Replacing windows because your left your gym bag in the car is a very expensive mistake.

16 Comment

  • Ok, I’m going to be the one that goes there. Leave items in your “trunk,” not your “truck.”

  • Thats a cold blooded criminal to break in during a rain storm. When I’ve had a smash and grab done on my car, the thief has been civil enough to do it during a sunny day. You just cant find good criminals anymore.

  • Maybe that location is bad for it, but my friend who lives in Dupont Circle has actually had his car broken into more times than the rest of my friends who live in Shaw combined. He at least claims that he is very careful about not leaving anything valuable exposed.

  • You don’t need to have anything potentially valuable visible to have your window smashed. Windows have been smashed and nothing taken (since nothing of value was there to begin with).

  • It’s anywhere in the city that this can happen. It happens occasionally in the secured parking garage of my condo building. I had a friend who got her purse snatched right out of her front seat while she was in the car waiting to make a right hand turn onto 14th St by a guy in a crowd of people waiting to cross the street. (It was a nice spring day and she had her passenger window rolled down)

  • This block that surrounds cardozo is constantly awash in broken safety glass from car windows. There is excellent cover and concealment around the high school (which is deserted at night).

    MPD needs to target this area specifically for these burglaries (maybe a pole camera or a bait vehicle with a GPS mounted on the windshield?) and the needs to put up some big signs warning folks not to leave ANYTHING in their cars. If you take away the loot, the thieves will eventually move on.

    They will smash the window for anything though, but they usually leave the coins in the change dispenser.

    This has been going on for years in this area.

  • Don’t judge people for things you don’t know about. Cars with no valuables inside get their window’s smashed all the time. The air of ‘you deserve it for being dumb’ is not cool.

  • The inconvenient truth; projects right next to Cardozo.

  • This may happen anywhere, as some commenters have noted, but it happens on this block *constantly.* I hope the victims pester Jim Graham and MPD for more foot patrols.

  • I had my car window smashed this weekend on the east side of 15th and Swann. The only thing visible (umbrella) was left alone.

  • Many times windows are smashed not for theft but for a place to sleep. I saw a car’s window was smashed on Vermont near the 9:30 club one time when I was walking by early one morning (about 7 am). I looked closer and saw there was a homeless man sleeping in the back seat. I called the police and reported it, not sure if anything was done. I have sympathies for the homeless, but also for people whose private property is damaged through no fault of their own.

  • Crackheads will see an old french fry on the floor of a car and say “hey I bet that is actually a french fry made of solid crack!” SMASH. Leaving anything of even hallucinatory value visible can mean someone breaks in. Opportunity thieves will smash into anything in the hopes of finding something in the glove box or center console; if they are hitting 5-6 cars, one or two are bound to pay off with a GPS unit or phone charger hidden away.

  • had my car broken into twice in two weeks in Dupont in January or February 2009. not a thing visible – only thing stolen was the maybe $2 in change next to the cig lighter. The second time it happened, it had been snowing so it might have been a place to sleep. Made it especially fun to drive to work in the snow with no window and snow pouring in.

  • Saw a car this a.m. on the way to work parked at 11th and Fairmont with the front passenger window busted out and it appeared that the only thing disturbed inside the car was the passenger side airbag compartment. Ripped to holy hell. Stereo still intact. Owner was waiting for the cops. There used to be a car parked regularly in front of my building that had a sign in the passenger window which read “Airbags already stolen.” Guess this is the new(ish) thing??

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