Photo by PoPville flickr user johnmcochran2012
With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to send out a warning/heads up/reminder to the community regarding packages left on your porch. This story also has some positive aspects regarding amazing people in our community.
Today (11/29/2012) I received a note in my mailbox from a good Samaritan regarding packages stolen from my front porch. Apparently, 2 adult men (potentially of Hispanic ethnicity according to the witness) in a red convertible (car brand not known) were throwing lots of empty boxes in the alley by Delafield and 8th St NW. There is a homeless man who lives near the alley and he saw the guys. He managed to write their licence plate number down (note… not with a pen and paper, but by scratching it into a wall with a nickel or nail). He then let the woman who lives in the house backing up to the alley and/or her lawn care guy know AND he grabbed one of the boxes that had the address still on.
The boxes had the the address information torn off most of them, but there was one they overlooked; it had my roommate’s name and our address. The lawn care gentleman brought the box to us, tried to ring the bell, spoke with our neighbor, and left us a note and let us know what was up. I called him and he gave me all of the details he got from the man and let me know that he, and the homeless man, could be contacted by the police for a report. It turns out 3 of us in the house had boxes stolen.
I filed a police report this evening. I’ve never filed a police report before, but the officer came out right away and went to check out the alley to see if the other boxes were still there.
I’ve lived in Petworth for 4 and a half years and have never had a package stolen. I’m sure there will be people who would say “oh gosh, you can’t have anything delivered to your home when no one is home,” but that is ridiculous and not something I think any of us should have to fear.
The purpose of this email is to let everyone know to be on the lookout, especially with the holidays upon us, for this car or for anyone taking a package from their neighbor’s porch. Additionally, I want to thank – publicly- the people responsible for alerting my roommates and me to what happened. It is so easy for people to see someone littering, especially someone like the homeless man who may be skittish of drawing attention to themselves, and look the other way. However, these neighbors went out of their way to try to let someone know and were willing to speak with the police. My roommates and I can get the businesses to reimburse us/ship us new products, but knowing that our neighbors are looking out for us gives us a better peace of mind.
I apologize for such a long email, but I do want to thank TJ, the owner of Neighborly Lawns, for coming to our house AND bringing the box they found. If I can do anything, I’d like to draw some attention to his business. I promise (for the cynical) I don’t know this man, have never used his services, and haven’t even met him in person. However, he took to time to do this for strangers, so if you need grass cutting, landscaping, hedge trimming, or anything else his number is 202-706-0022 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The least my roommates and I can do is pass along his information!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Obviously we haven’t heard anything yet from the police. I hope this hasn’t happened to anyone else in the neighborhood. Hopefully by speaking out that we can all continue to do an amazing job looking out for one another.
Another reader warns:
Package Thefts/1000 Block of Irving St, NW
I don’t know if other area residents are having the same problem, but my house has had 4 UPS packages stolen off our porch this week (before my roommates and I figured it out). It’d be great if you could send out a quick warning to PoPville. This was multiple packages over multiple days, so I suspect that this is not a random occurrence and that other houses in the area may be targeted as well.