From the Forum – Mugging at 11th and U Street, NW

Mugging at 11th and U Street, NW:

“The other night my friend was mugged while walking home from a night out right around 11th and U Streets, NW. Apparently two men came up from behind and punched him in the head and again in the stomach to knock him down. Then went through his pockets. They took his watch, iPhone, and the money out of his wallet (but gave the wallet back). Then complained that there was only $5 in his wallet.

I know that stealing smartphones has become a bit of a problem in the area. I also know that it is possible for the cellular companies to put in a “kill switch” for the phones that would make it not possible to ever activate them on another network but they refuse to do so because of potential lost profits.

The good news is that an iPhone with iOS7 that has the Find My iPhone option turned on, can be tracked, even if the phone is wiped. In order to turn off the Find My iPhone option, you have to enter your iTunes password. This means that the only way someone could prevent a stolen phone from being tracked is to turn it off so that it is not transmitting a signal.

When the police arrived to assist my friend (Which they did very quickly and in force), one of them asked for a description of the theives and quickly left to canvass the area. Meanwhile, another officer asked my friend to enter his ituens info into an iPad to see if they could search for the phone. It was not showing up on their system, so the people who stole it must have turned the phone off or wiped it (my friend had not upgraded to iOS7).

Between these types of thefts and the knockout game that seems to be happening in the area, people need to make sure to be aware of their surroundings and watch out for potential threats. Hopefully the colder weather will decrease the number of crimes in the area.”

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25 Comment

  • I love that the cop pulled out an iPad so they could try to track the phone on the spot.

  • Why oh why can’t apple just require you to type in your passcode before turning off the phone?

    Of course a thief could still open the phone and yank the battery, but that would take at least a few minutes and some skill. The phone would at least stay on long enough for it to be tracked in a situation like this.

  • I have a handful of friends who carry around an old broken or otherwise worthless phone in one of their pockets (in addition to their “real”phone) for this very reason. Most muggers don’t search your pockets like these guys did, so if they demand your phone and you hand them some crappy three or four year old $40 Blackberry, they will just grab it and run. These guys sound a little more experienced, so I don’t know if that would have worked, and it also doesn’t work if they grab the phone right out of your hands, but it would probably work in some situations.

    • Or maybe just carry a regular cell phone when you are out and about, instead of the IPhone.

      • But then you have no phone to use. Who’s going to pay for two phone plans and give their friends two sets of numbers to contact them just to not carry around their smartphone?

        • Party Phone. Just use it with the people you go out with.

          • Doesn’t solve either of the problems listed, does it?
            Or the people I go out with only have that one number, and I then have two phones to monitor all the time. Um, yeah, no.

    • I actually have an HTC qwerty phone that I sometimes take when I go out. Fits in my pocket better. Swap the SIM and voila done.

  • So when two guys knock you down from behind and render you semi-conscious they not only get your iphone and wallet, but also your firearm? Yeah, that seems like a good idea.

  • Similar thing happened to me (except was not hit)… I was out late, alone, at 11th/R in 2010. They reached into my pockets and took my wallet and iPhone. Ever since I’m constantly checking my surroundings, and will often take a taxi/uber if it’s that late.
    Here’s a tip though… I was able to claim it on my renter’s insurance, so I got a new phone (can be $600+) but only had to pay my $250 deductible. They also reimbursed me the cost of my wallet and the value of its contents (cash).

    • I strongly suggest against people making a claim against their rental policy for something this small. It affects you being able to get home owners insurance and it will be costly. Even if you call to inquire it still counts as against you as though you filed a claim.

  • That’s it, I’m buy my son a 800,000. Volt Tazer gun. Zap their ass and watch them piss their pants. legal or not, take your chance in front of the judge.

  • I know this is awful but I have to say this I’m happy to hear they guy was only punched. There isn’t any reason to shot or stab. Way to use your fists

  • There was also a robbery at gun point at 8pm yesterday at 12th/P

  • Whats with the whole white panic about this so-called knockout game. Seriously, its not a thing.

    • Gee, I don’t know. Why don’t you ask the people who’ve been knocked out, or the families of those who weren’t “just” knocked out but murdered?

      • Even the NYT – the whitest paper in the history of journalism – said the Knockout Game is mostly just a hyped urban legend meant to generate ratings and mouse-clicks. For every family of a Knockout Game victim, there’s 2000 families that have been affected by gun violence.

        • I’m not saying that every unprovoked, non-robbery, seemingly-random assault by a lowlife POS upon a productive member of society is part of this ‘knockout game’ stuff. My point was that for commenter eric to cavalierly dismiss people’s concerns about the frequency and severity of random assaults in our cities and suburbs is spectacularly insensitive to the many victims of this violence, as well as counterproductive to building the collective will to effectively handle the problem of youth gangs, violence, etc.

          My understanding is that a handful of cases here and there actually have been linked by authorities to this ‘Knockout Game’ schtick, and now those cases are being exploited by hate-mongers and ratings-chasers. So with that said, I want to be clear that I do *not* subscribe to the hype that it represents some sort of trend or epidemic. But at the end of the day, whether it’s a ‘thing’ or not doesn’t change the fact that there are disturbing number of instances of juveniles committing assault on a whim. And I’m considerably less interested in whether those individuals are keeping score than I am in seeing the problem handled.

          Productive members of society have earned the right to be able to walk down their own damn streets without having to keep their heads on a swivel lest some worthless POS chooses to ‘self-actualize.’ Anything less is effing unacceptable. Granted, that may not be an attainable goal, but that doesn’t mean we should just surrender utterly as we have chosen to do thus far.

          And no, I don’t know what the answer is. But whatever we’re currently doing sure isn’t it.

    • PDleftMtP

      The idea that some new memo went out to all the young tough guys is a little ridiculous, but kids walking around trying to cold-cock people at random to prove how badass they are goes back at least 25-30 years to when I was younger and stupider.

  • PDleftMtP

    Time and day of the week?

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