Heads Up Bloomingdale – Brazen Thieves Spotted in a Penske Van Steal Vespa, Continue Casing the Area


“Dear PoPville,

A heads up to Bloomingdale residents. My husband’s Vespa was stolen from our parking area in the alley behind on our house First St NW last night. A neighbor’s security footage shows the thieves backed a Penske van into the parking area and loaded the Vespa by lifting it into the van, so wheel locks don’t help. There is other footage of them generally casing the entire area a few times, so people need to be aware. The police have been notified.”

12 Comment

  • That is nuts. There are only so many places in the area where a Penske van can be rented, so it is possible those establishments have records of who rented what, when. Plus they pay by the mile, so with some luck the thieves were thrifty and went to the nearest rental location, the Home Depot (in NE). Whether those companies will turn over the records, or the Police will take on that investigation, is another question.

  • Good luck.. but dont get your hopes up…

    motorcycles (worth 3x’s as much as your vespa, no offense, are stolen in this area ALL of the time using the same method. Barely any of them are recovered by the cops

    best way to avoid this is keep your scooters and motorcycles out of sight. no wheel locks wont work because they can easily be lifted by two people
    chains will only get in the way as usually they cut

    BEST defense is an attached garage
    if not that id chain it up with a SERIOUS lock and chain and try to keep it as far out of sight as possible
    ride in and ride out.

    it sucks that you have to feel like you must hide the things you work so hard for to enjoy but that is the sad reality of it

    id chalk it up as a loss and try to do a better job storing it next time

    • Agreed. This sucks, but I would not for a second entertain the idea of having a bike/scooter without a garage in this city. Not worth the hassle of dealing with insurance every time it gets stolen.

  • Would love to help catch the suspects. Seeking the victim and the video shot by the neighbor.
    We have had the same thing occuring in my neighborhood – in LeDroit Park.

    Doug Buchanan

  • How difficult would it be to install a GPS in these things?

    • not hard at all.

    • Not difficult at all…

      problem is that theives know about GPS’s being installed in bikes and mopeds and find and disable them before you even know its gone

      im telling you, these guys are normall good at it and once its gone there is a slim slim chance you will ever see it again

      at best (in most cases) they will get caught out on a joy ride

  • Post the Video

  • There is a similar Penske van that comes and goes from the alley behind the 100 block of U St NE. Recent addition maybe 2 weeks ago. Odd that they haven’t needed to return it. Have the cops check it out?

  • Fellow Bloomingdalians will be on the lookout, myself included! Sorry this happened to you. Not that you asked for any advice, but I ended up buying an 8×3′ shed at the Home Depot, one of those plastic ones, for my moped… it wasn’t too expensive, and gave me some peace of mind. Plus I called and had it put on my insurance notes, so it would have helped my cause immensely in the case of a theft.

    I was in Chicago recently and was amazed that scooters & mopeds there are parked on the street like motorcycles, without locks. According to my friend who lives there, they are basically never stolen. No fair.

  • they probably heard that all the Bloomingdale residents were dining at “the best restaurants in DC within walking distance” and saw easy pickings

  • My road bike was stolen at First and R in Bloomingdale 6:30pm Tuesday evening! =o(

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