Heads Up: Attempted Break-ins in Bloomingdale

Photo by PoPville flickr user hellomarkers!

Dear PoPville,

I live on Seaton Pl NW in Bloomingdale, and the police contacted me about an attempted break-in in my house. They said the attempt was made by trying to kick our glass front door in. They’ve made sure our windows and doors are secure and say it appears they were unable to get in, however we weren’t the only house on the street with the attempt. Hopefully others houses had the same luck (and sturdy front door) as I did. Just wanted to give the heads up!

We have a broken screen on one of our windows that the police say burglars look for to target houses. Just wanted to get the word out!

34 Comment

  • Multiple break ins in the last month in Ledroit Park around 4th and 5th Street. Burglars entering during the day through upstairs window (helping themselves with garbage cans to jump up), making a mess of the homes, stealing little to nothing or in general small items such as jewelry and laptop (no tvs, desktops etc).

  • Security doors and bars are not prohibitively expensive, less than the install and monthly fees on an alarm system for a year or two. And they don’t make your house feel like a “prison” (the only way your house will feel like a prison is if you let it). Short of some upper NW neighborhoods I would have security doors and bars on any basement or alley facing 1st floor windows in this city (that includes Logan/Dupont/Adams Morgan/Woodley/etc.). Anywhere where somebody could operate under some cover for a few minutes. This was the first thing we had changed out and installed when we bought. The best line of defense for “casual” break-ins like this (these smash and grabs are crimes of opportunity, these aren’t professional cat burglars) is to make the thieves think it’s not worth their time or effort. Your choice: “aesthetics” or safety. Would you rather somebody break in and set off an alarm (and have 5-10 minutes where they know nobody will be realistically responding) or not have them be able to get in at all?

    I realize for renters this is more of a conundrum since you often can’t make it a point of your lease to have them installed or maintained. In that case make it hard to actually enter once they have decided to break in:

    – deadbolts on window frames (or at least pins through the sashes), double deadbolts on all exterior doors (NO thumb latches on the inside!), locking bars or just sturdy wooden rods in the tracks of sliding doors. These are inexpensive options that decrease the chance of a successful break in greatly.

    – motion-activated floods on any alley or basement entrances. They come in attractive finishes and are easily installed for very little money.

    – Security cameras at entrances or even just FAKE cameras mounted on the exterior with window stickers saying “Smile, you’re on camera!”

    All you need to do is get the shitheads to think twice and they will move on.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. Security bars don’t have to be unsightly, we got ours from a local ironsmith who does beautiful work, and we’ve gotten complements on them. It doesn’t cost that much more to get quaility.

      • Who was your ironsmith? I’m interested in attractive security bars as well. Thanks!

      • Northeast Iron Works. They do some really nice work and we were (pleasantly) shocked at how reasonable installation of 4 security doors and 6 set of basement window bars was (a little over $2000, I was expecting at least double that). The design actually enhances the look of the crappy Home Depot doors that our house came with and we haven’t gotten around to replacing. We got them screened so we could leave the doors open but secured when the weather is nice and we’re at home.

  • bloomingdale has had a lot of breaks-ins lately. the bloomingdale blog has an account of a possible attempted home invasion. keep your eyes open everyone!

    • From what I can gather as a Bloomingdale resident, Bloomindale itself is pretty safe and the criminals likely don’t live there. Plus, everyone in Bloomingdale seems to know everyone else. I think this stuff is coming from nearby areas, such as Truxton or the nearby NE. I once followed a kid who attempted to break into a car in Bloomingdale, and he headed right across North Capitol as quickly as he could. As NE gentrifies, Bloomingdale will probably grow safer cause the perps will have to come farther inland to get to it. It’ll still happen, like it does in Dupont, but not so easily.

      • agreed… I am a newish bloomingdale resident and I had my place broken into when we first moved in (didnt even have time to put in the alarm/bars…)… but witness to the crime said that he knew the kids from school and that they lived in trinidad. i believe these kids were eventually arrested, but I doubt they care much about what they are doing to their future. truly some lost souls. I used to think that “everyone has a chance” but I’m more cynical these days… some people are just permanently stupid.

        • I think it would be better said that everyone has a chance, just not everyone chooses to take it. We used to be taught that you are no better than anyone else, but I now know that I am better than a lot of people, because I choose to be by working harder to do better and be better. Everyone has the chance to be the best they can, very few take that chance because it requires sacrifice and hard work on your part. Not everybody will have a chance to be President or a Millionaire but everyone will have a chance to be the best that they can, if they choose to. Being a thief, liar, bully, addict, etc is not the best that anybody can be.

          ~Two cents worth from the Dali Lama of Bloomingdale.


        Bloomingdale just sees themselves as Chevy Chase, huh?

        “The criminals dont live here, they live in NE!!! and truxton circle!”

        Oh, you mean the next neighborhood over? Like across the street?

        Ok. We all have definitions of “here” but if I can throw a rock with accuracy to that location, I call it “here”.

        • You hush! : )

          Bloomingdale is the home of all that is great and good in the world……. (ok accept the flooding poo, Sunday parking, and break-in potential.) We have our invisible force field up around our borders to protect our sunshine and daises like wonder woman on Paradise Island : ) **Eckington**CHING – **Truxton Circle** CHA-CHING_CHING** force field protected.

        • well, i live in bloomingdale and i know residents in bloomingdale that are thieves, and worse. yes, people come from other neighborhoods, but we have plenty to deal with right here.

          new residents just know know all their neighbors well yet. the problem is entrenched. “gentrification” isn’t going to help when homes are owned outright by thugs.

      • Cognitive dissonance seems to be a disease that is rapidly spreading through PoPville. And what does it matter if the criminals are from Bloomingdale or not? Are Bloomingdale-based thugs more considerate of the neighborhood houses they burglarize? Are the Trinidad-based criminals just a bit more dangerous? Some newcomers to DC’s transitional neighborhoods are clearly out of their depth.

        • Well, according to one of ANCs in the Pleasant Plains/Parkview area, Lenwood Johnson, and his allies any attempt to stop crime is a matter of racism. I’m African American, and I’m outraged by this attitude. These kids were screwed by circumstance of adults who have nothing, and for whatever reason visit that despair on the rest of us. If I could throw the parents in jail, I would. Plus they don’t even vote so maybe Romney’s right about that little piece of the population. Little, emphasized, because they are a slither. The problem is how do you convince the great mass of functional people to rat out or turn out their hermanos, their grandsons, nephews, nieces, etc.?

  • I’m amazed that there are homes in this city that don’t have bars or an alarm system. If you can afford to pay the taxes on your house, you can afford bars. I have to put this into the category of people who walk alone drunk at night listening to their iPods. Yes, they should have the right to do so safely, but sweet Jesus, think!

    • saf


      Live behind barricades? No thanks.

      • Is it really that bad? Besides how you think people perceive you, how do narrow metal strips on some windows drastically decrease your quality of life? I’m really interested in this because I hear it a lot, but nobody can tell me why it’s so life-alterlingly awful. Is it a concrete acknowledgement that you live in a city with high rates of property crime? (News flash: you live in a city with a high rate of property crime)

        • I feel much, much safer in my house in DC that has window bars than I did when I lived in Northern Virginia where no one had them. Break-ins can happen anywhere and you’re making it so much easier for someone to do it if you don’t have bars. That said, I did have someone bend my window bars to get in, back when I was renting in SW, so they shouldn’t be your only line of defense.

        • saf

          Yes, it is that bad. I just could not live behind bars.

          I resisted getting an alarm for many years too. But as the property crime rate in Petworth rose several years ago, I did break down and get an alarm.

          And yeah, property crime rate not so much a newsflash.

    • novadancer

      I second the “no alarm”. especially when I read the list serve and it says the burglary was between the hours of 8 and 5. our alarm costs $42/month. Money well spent imo… (cops napped our burglars last year with over $10k worth of stuff – including using my hubby’s racing bike (no pedals) as a getaway vehicle!)

  • gotryit

    security cameras too… get video of the chumps
    $400 should get you a nice system.

  • To the OP: When was the attempted break-in (i.e., what time of day/night)? I’m across North Capitol on Seaton Place NE.

  • My basement apartment was broken into two weeks ago around 2nd and T ST NW at about 2pm. They took jewelry, laptops and prescriptions from the basement apartment and then used the access door to break into the house upstairs stealing their laptop. They entered through the backyard basement door. The door had bars on it but they took apart the lock in the bar door and then broke the glass of the actual door to get in. It has been a horrible experience. The police were able to get finger prints so maybe they will be able to link all of these break ins together and actually catch the thieves. I have always felt safe in Bloomingdale but this has definitely shaken me.

  • Just so everyone knows, the thief that did this break-in attempt (and actual break-in of at least one apartment) on this particular morning was caught and arrested. I’d like to thank Bacio Pizza for being a popular rest stop for the police!

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