Dear PoPville – Be Aware of Morning Muggings Too

Photo by PoPville flickr user sciascia

Dear PoPville,

Hey, thought this might be important to share with the community. A friend of mine was mugged at 8:30 Wed. morning on 12th place NW between W and V Streets. The police told him there were also muggings right before and after on Clifton and on 11th near W.

We’ve been hearing about muggings all over the city including the Friendship Heights area. From MPD:

The first incident occurred at approximately 10:15 PM in the 5200 block of Western Ave, NW, close to the intersection with Harrison St. The victim reported that three armed perpetrators, all displaying handguns, approached her while she was walking within the block. The suspects then robbed the victim of her cell phone, currency, bank cards, etc. The suspects then fled the scene on foot, last seen running east within the 4500 block of Harrison St., NW.

The second incident occurred at approximately 10:20 PM in the 4300 block of Garrison St., NW, close to the intersection with Wisconsin Avenue. Two victims reported while walking within the block they were approached from the rear by three perpetrators. One suspect struck one of the victims on the back of the head with a dark colored handgun. Both victims were then forced to the ground face down. The three perpetrators then forcibly removed property from the victims to include cell phones(s), currency, and personal papers. The suspects were last seen fleeing the location in an older model, dark colored vehicle.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but there is something especially disturbing about hearing of muggings that take place at 8:30am as the OP describes above. At any rate, I don’t think you should be paranoid but please be aware of your surroundings no matter what time of day or night it is and don’t be afraid to call the police to report any suspicious activities you may see.

62 Comment

  • News Channel8 is currently reporting there was an armed robbery near the Dupont Circle metro this morning. No other details were provided.

  • The rash of such robberies began months ago. Of course local tv and washingtonpost only noticed when it happened in upper Caucasia. Some have happened at high noon on busy streets. This morning there were three in Dupont area. To protect yourself don’t walk with headphones on. If you see lingering dudes, listen to your gut, and walk the other way if you must, or cross the street. Until we stop safety cutbacks and get more cops on the street, this will continue.

    • I might add, this is all about your smartphone. The thieves just want your iPhone or android cause there’s a thriving black market for expensive phones.

      • a few years ago I lost my phone and called verizon to report it lost/stolen. A few days later, it reappeared under the seat of my car. Verizon insisted that once it’s reported lost/stolen, it’s immediately placed on a “banned list” for life, and is never allowed to be re-authorized, even if by the original owner.

        So, what’s changed since then? Do they no longer inactive phones?

        • Thief/fence operations can re-program bricked phones pretty easily and add new SIM cards.

        • Also, carriers are perversely incentivized to provide service to stolen phones – the end result is more monthly subscribers for them.

          • exactly – there was actually a news story on this recently. In Australia, they have a law that requires carriers to place a stolen phone’s unique identifying number (which is tied to the phone itself, not the sim card) on a blacklist, making the phone unusable even if the sim card is changed or new service is set up. This reduced smartphone thefts dramatically, since they lost their value on the black market. In the US, carriers are not required to do this and are now telling customers who request their phone be blacklisted that they can’t do that. The reason is exactly as jd says – it’s just a loss for the phone company. As it is, you go buy a new phone from them to replace the stolen one, and the stolen phone reappears as a new contract. I don’t know why local law enforcement isn’t pushing this as another method of reducing smartphone theft – i guess the phone company lobby is just that good?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      From MPD this morning:

      “Robbery Gun, 0608 hrs, 20th & N St, NW. LOF:B/M, 5’9″, baggy jeans, red shirt, hat.”

    • Uh, Upper Caucasia? Nice racism there.

  • my neighbor was telling me the other morning that a woman was also mugged on our street (10th st nw) at about 7:15 am.

  • Just saw an alert for a mugging at 8:27 this morning at 9th & Decatur St NW.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      MPD just released:

      “At approximately 8:30 am today, a citizen was standing on the sidewalk in the 900 block of Decatur Street NW when he was approached by a suspect who brandished a black handgun and demanded the citizen’s wallet. The citizen gave the suspect his wallet. The suspect took the cash out of the wallet and then ran south on 8th Street from Decatur Street.

      The suspect is described as a black male, 18-20 years old, approximately 5’ 9” in height. He had a moustache. He was wearing blue jeans and a black striped sweatshirt with a hood.

      Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call 202-727-9099.”

  • It’s only a matter of time before DC gets its own Bernhard Goetz.

    • only someone that didn’t know nyc in the early 80’s would think that.

      • Crime Rate in NYC in 1984: ~950 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.
        Crime Rate in DC in 2010: ~1,300 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

        Apparently everything is better in NYC, even crime.

        • didn’t say anything about better.
          and like i said, you obviously don’t understand the difference in circumstance of nyc in the 80’s and DC now, beyond the surface anyway.

          we will not have our bernard goetz. he will not be seen as a hero. it will not spur the changes that goetz instigated.

          what we need is for decent people to not get out of jury duty. we need more witnesses. we need sterner judges and sentence. we need better schools. vigilantism won’t fly in dc.

          • Now that handguns are legal in DC, it is only a matter of time before someone takes the law into their own hands. A Bernard Goetz incident could easily happen here since more people feel that they are not safe on the street.

    • +1. I know from experience that a lot of folks around here would like to pat these muggers on the back and tell them how special they are and remind them that they could be doctors or lawyers or firemen someday, but I’d rather round them up and put them at the bottom of the Potomac. There is an entire class of thug in DC these days that, at least under the current judicial system, is undoubtedly incapable of any rehabilitation.

      • +1 me too! Lock ’em up and throw away the key. Rehabilitation is a liberal delusion.

        • it’s also the very basis of a free society.

        • Diane Rehm had a show about this awhile back. In Canada, they ran a test that measures psychopathy on inmates. They found that crooks who score above a certain number were extremely likely to commit crimes again, once released. However, they were not able to use this data against individuals at parole hearings, because doing so would violate the law.

          The point is clear. Monsters do walk amongst us — people who kill or murder or assault and will never be rehabilitated. I’m looking at you, pimp who said I was asking for a beating because I used the Georgia Ave Wells Fargo ATM next to him at 3am, while two cop cars were stopped 1.5 blocks away. (I was sober, he was paying one of his “staff”.) Really, you’re going to beat me in front of an ATM with a camera, within a literal stone’s throw of four cops? Brilliant. These are the people we need to care about rehabilitating.

          I’m not saying we should use tests like this to decide fates for individuals (unconstitutional), but we could use them to shape policy. How many DYRS wards are 90% likely to be incapable of rehabilitation?

          • That’s an interesting question. Essentially, as a free (and supposedly) just society, we have little choice but to let people who might struggle to comport to the norms of society free after they have “paid their debt” even though their chances of re-offending is relatively high. That’s certainly a tough choice, but the alternative is even more frightening.

    • Someday a real rain will come and wash all the scum from the streets.

    • Wikipedia: In his statements, Goetz described his past mugging in which he was injured and the only assailant arrested went unpunished. He called New York City “lawless” and expressed contempt for its justice system, calling it a “joke”, a “sham”, and “a disgrace”.

      Sounds an awful lot like DC.

  • DCist is reporting that 2 arrests have been made in the robberies earlier this week (presumably the ones in North Cleveland Park, Tenleytown, and Friendship Heights – or “Upper Caucasia” to those who harbor a tedious bitterness). Hopefully MPD will have success rounding up the perpetrators of the latest round of violence.

    • Tedious bitterness? It sounds like you’re the one who is being oversensitive and making a big deal about it. I live in Upper Caucasia and I call it that myself.

      • And would the same be said if someone on this blog referred to one of the gentrifying neighborhoods on a similar manner? Hardly. Oversensitive, no. Annoyed by hypocrisy? Yes.

        • “If”. Let’s wait until the conditions of that “if” are met, before complaining about something that never happened. And even if it did, let’s keep in mind that the circumstances would be different as would be the implied meaning.

          • Your logic is flawed in several levels.

            1. It certainly is permissible to take exception to an insult whether your arbitrary conditions have been fulfilled or not.

            2. How would referring by one part of DC in racial terms be ok when doing the same for another part would be “different as would the implied meaning?” After all, why do you get to judge what someone is implying in one situation but deny me the same right? After all, you are pre-judging that such a nickname would be negative.

  • This explains why I saw no less than 10 police cars while walking my dog around W and 12st/11st/10st/9st this morning.

    I bet most of the muggings in this area are by teenagers on their way to school. Got hassled by a group of them AGAIN this am while I was picking up the dog’s poop. I hate those f-ing kids.

  • Someone tried to mug me in Columbia Heights a few weeks ago in the evening, leaving me with a bashed in face. Haven’t felt comfortable walking around past dark since. And now I wont feel comfortable any time.

  • There was also this yesterday:

    “Robbery Gun_0816 hrs_15th Chapin St. NW _LOF B/M, 6’0”,170 lbs wearing a green military jacket and blue jeans,armed with blk gun//2136”

    I’ve noticed NPS police have had less presence in Meridian Hill Park lately. I was followed by a man within the park yesterday, but turned around and stared at him to let him know I knew he was following me (probably not smart). He changed course but I could still see him following. I got out of the park and notified a police car passing by. He quickly took off in the other direction. AND, I did not have a phone/headphones out – just walking to work.

  • Mugging season’s starting earlier and earlier every year!

  • MPD tweeted this morning that officers will be around the 3rd District passing out flyers regarding the recent string of robberies. Hopefully someone in PoPville can get their hands on one of the flyers and share with the site. I hope it’s something more than just “be aware of your surroundings; don’t keep your phone out, etc.”

  • This should come as no surprise, but the numbers are staggering. There have been over 300 robberies in the last month alone, much higher than last year. All the while, DC MPD has been telling us that crime is down, etc etc.

    The “solution” to crime (or, at least, the public perception of it), apparently, has been to move around the DC police district boundaries to play with the statistics. If you truly want to combat crime, move personnel and resources, not lines on a map to play with the numbers.

    • But homicides are down! That seems to be the only crime stat MPD seems to care about. I will be the a-hole who argues that just because homicides are down, doesn’t mean that fewer people are getting shot/stabbed/beaten. It just means that the care they are getting at the hospitals is better and they aren’t dying as a result of the attack.

      But like everyone says, until the justice system around here (esp. the juvenile system) is totally reformed, nothing will change. What’s the incentive to stop robbing people when you get a slap on the wrist and are back on the street within 12 hours of your arrest? Such a joke.

      • I think you’re right, but the justice system is reactive. Until the education system in DC (and surrounding area) is uniformly good (or at least better), criminals will continue to be a problem. It should be a 2 track approach.

        • Have you spent any time in the DC school system? I am who I am because of my family and the community I surround myself with. Not because my school had new computers or because there were more after school activites. These people have no respect for others, I hope hard working people of any race, or status start standing up to this crap, and make this city the great place it should be

          • Not sure I follow you. I don’t know what new computers have to do with this, but I do know that people with a poor education have a higher chance of becoming violent criminals (or Republicans), so giving kids of all races a chance to succeed in life would be a good strategy in tandem with making the penalties for crime stiffer.

          • The schools in DC are bad because of the students that attend them. They bring in the attitude that they have been taught at home. It starts at home. Spend some time as I have in DC schools. See that they have great teachers, old and young, equiptment, computers, etc. They will get a better education, when the attitude of the youth changes. This is why good citizens of DC of all races, have such a hard time sending their kids to school. My Son will not be sitting next to a 15 year old kid that is willing to punch a woman in the face on the bike trail. Not even sure why I’m giving you time out of my day with your “Republican” comment too

          • With circular, self-defeating logic like that, the problems in DC will continue forever. If, as you say, the kids in DC are the problem, then what breaks the cycle? Only better education or opportunities will do that. I’m fine with being really hard on crime, but throwing up our hands with regards to the schools hurts DC in many ways.

      • I’m happy homicides are down, but is a misleading statistic. I’d venture to say that in many, if not most homicides in DC, the victim is a criminal himself, or the homicide is somehow related to another crime. But with muggings/assaults/break-ins, the victims typically are law-abiding citizens. So again, while I’m pleased homicides are down, other types of crime have a much more significant impact on the quality of life in Dc for many of us.

        And before I get jumped all over, no, I don’t have statistics to back up my statements, and yes, of course some homicide victims truly are innocent victims. But come on, don’t be naive.

  • Remind me again why we can’t have concealed guns? Or, from a de facto perspective, guns at all (except, of course, for the criminals)? How anxious would these punks be to rob people if the victims they tried assaulting had a 9mm?

  • FYI: The picture you keep using to illustrate “street crime” is actually a photo of President Obama’s motorcade parked outside the Spy Museum. The police
    tape went up to keep a large gathering crowd of bystanders at a good distance before the First Family exited.

  • I was mugged on my way into work the morning last summer, and I saw it coming and was able to tuck my iPhone into my pocket and fight off the unarmed assailant. The cops told me that the next time I got that feeling that someone was where they should not be to call 911 immediately and report them.

    You cannot walk around with an iPhone in your hand on a quiet street. It makes you a target of opportunistic thugs. Sucks, but true. Be aware of your surroundings and listen to your gut.

  • Folks,

    If you want to prevent a crime spike in this city, then you need to talk to your elected city councilmembers and encourage them to enact new mandatory minimum sentences. Currently, such sentences only exist where a gun is used in the crime. Unfortunately, that means judges are low-balling sentences for other things, like knife-stickups, and severe beatings. When you let folks off with a slap on the wrist, all they learn is that they can get away with it.

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