Remember Don’t Leave Anything of Value in Your Car for Even a Minute


“Dear PoPville,

This happened to our sweet handyman, who parked outside our house between Q and P on 6th street at 12:30 today. He had his laptop in view. Please be careful not to leave anything in your car. Such a shame, people are now fearful to work on our home.”

21 Comment

  • My wife left her car parked at work (nearby Litteri) for about 20 min and it was broken into and Xmas gifts were stolen. Boxes of children’s presents. Yes. Don’t leave anything in your car visible.

  • Never leave anything in your car – smash and grabs are super common here.

  • 🙁 So sorry for your handyman!

    I learned this lesson the hard way — don’t leave ANYTHING, even if it’s not valuable. I once left a bag of laundry in the backseat and my window got smashed in. I thought I had fully learned the lesson, car always completely empty. Then, a couple months ago, I left the key to my bike lock in the cup holder and lo and behold it got broken into. I guess someone thought it might be a key to the car. They didn’t even take the key with them, just threw it on the ground… although they did pop my trunk and take a first aid kit (?). I guess they needed the ace bandage more than I did.

    Anyway, the lesson is, NOTHING VISIBLE, valuable or not. They will take it just in case.

  • mine was busted out this weekend and i had nothing in my car.

    • Leaving something visible (including a charger) is a slam dunk for car thieves. Don’t leave anything in there, PERIOD, visible or not. We literally watched a guy smash the window of a car directly in front of our window in Columbia Heights at 7pm on fairly well-traveled street. Called 911, and then followed the guy to ID him to the cops. Thankfully ran into some bike cops within a block or two, who nabbed him after I told them what happened. He broke into the car only because it had out of town plates (NY) and just happened to get lucky that there was an iPad in the glove box (which thankfully got returned to its owner). There was ZERO indication that there was anything valuable in there, other than the fact that it had out of town plates…so maybe its owner was foolish enough to leave something in there. Kids these days.

  • I live just around the block and had my car broken into last summer. What was visible? A towel I use to wipe my dog’s feet before he gets in the car. Nothing else. People are assholes.

  • “people are now fearful to work on our home”
    ummm so dont tell future people that someone got their car broken into?

  • Is he a good handyman? We need one! Pass his contact info!

  • Wow. Anyone who has lived in a city more than 10 minutes knows not to leave visible valuables in their car. It’s not your neighborhood. This happens literally everywhere. I am amazed that he left a computer on the front seat. Next time he should just leave his valuables on the roof of his car. Then they won’t have to break the window.

    Smash and grabs are common in any city in the US.

    • Hate to blame the victim, but John is right. In fact, I wouldn’t leave a laptop visible in a car parked virtually anywhere in the United States — urban or rural.

      • There are actually plenty of places I can think of where I could do this (though I never would). Not every location is so thick with skeevy predatory a-holes.

        • True – like the middle of North Dakota. And much of Nevada. And Arizona – except for the Meth-lab bits.

          • Yeah, I’m struggling to think of a place that’s not completely rural where you could safely leave a laptop in a car. And please don’t claim that this couldn’t happen in NovA– I have friends in Burke and Springfield who actually had parts stolen from their cars (one a mirror, the other the hood of his truck). It almost seems like car theft is worse out there.

        • Like the suburbs of Annapolis?

  • My coworker, who lives near Annapolis, had his laptop stolen from his car while it was parked in his driveway. Point is, it’s dumb to leave a laptop in plain view in a car no matter where it’s parked. If your handyman is afraid to come back, it’s probably for the best. Someone who lacks that much common sense and doesn’t have a sense of personal responsibility will probably screw you over somehow.

  • Ugh. Why do people act like such assholes?

  • I live on 15th St NW in Columbia Heights. The number of broken car windows I have seen walking to work in the morning is astounding. Saw a distraught couple this weekend waiting beside their Land Rover (presumably waiting for the police to show up) on 15th St NW as the victims of a smash and grab. Last Fall I saw young men walk up 15th St peering into the windows of every car parked on the street. I was walking a couple feet behind them, so they didn’t do anything but it became obvious what their motive was since they even peered into cars parked in driveways. I didn’t know what to do since 1) It was night 2) I am a woman and was alone 3) I didn’t see an actual crime. It still bothers me that I didn’t do anything. What would be the appropriate response in that situation?

    • Fellow 15th st. NW resident here. Maybe I’ve just gotten too used to it, but there actually seem to be fewer broken car windows on our street now than a couple years ago. Can’t remember the last time I saw one actually (when it used to be at least once a week).

      • Yeah, I saw the Land Rover with broken windows this weekend. I think 15th Street and Hiatt Place have more broken windows then most streets.

    • The “loop” of Belmont to 17th to Crescent Pl NW off 16th street has at least 1 smashed window each week. I feel for car owners in this situation…

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