Multiple Reader Reported Crimes in Shaw, Bloomingdale, U Street

Sadly readers report:

Burglary on the 1400 Block of Swann Street, NW

We were the victims of a burglary Monday night and figured this would be a good place to spread the word so that others can be more vigilant than us.

We live on the 1400 block of Swann Street NW. Yesterday evening at about 8:45pm, I started grilling on our outside patio. Usually when I grill, I’ll go in and out of the house and leave the back door closed but unlocked. I brought the food in around 9/9:15 to eat. During this time, someone came in our house, snatched my wife’s purse and camera and my wallet and watch. We noticed it was missing at around 9:30 and immediately called the police.

While we were waiting for the police, my wife recommended I search the allyway in between our block and the 1400 block of T Street NW. Sure enough, I found my wife’s rummaged-through purse near a neighbor’s car. I was able to recover most of its contents, including her credit cards. All that was taken from her, outside of the camera, was $30 in cash and her ID.

I continued searching the area and found my wallet in a nearby garbage can. In addition to my watch, the thief took all of my credit cards and smart trip card, which thankfully can all be cancelled and replaced. I checked my recent transactions and noticed the card was used at Whitelaw market on the corner of 13th and T, probably sometime between 9:30-10:30 pm.

When the police arrived, they interviewed us and did a thorough investigation–took pictures, fingerprints, etc. They told us that similar incidents have recently occurred in our area. I mention this so that hopefully this can end in a “Props to the Cops” post, but also so that people realize that theft in our area isn’t just limited to packages. Remember to lock your doors even when you’re home, and if you are anyone suspicious in the alley ways, report them to the police. Readers of PoPville – Be very vigilant in guarding your stuff!”


Smash and grab Monday night on 13th and U, NW

Sad reminder that even directly in front of the bars/ restaurants/ metro, no car is safe. Mercedes windows smashed last night on 13th immediately north of U St. NW. Looks like a bunch of backseat detritus but nothing valuable-unless the crooks grabbed whatever valuables had been there.”


Package theft in Shaw/Bloomingdale

We live around New Jersey Ave & Q St and had never experienced package theft in the four years we’ve been here…until yesterday. I was greeted by this scene coming back from work. I can’t believe people are so brazen that they can go through packages in broad daylight in full view! We called the police and was told that package theft has been on the rise in our neighborhood and that it usually occurs around noon when thieves know that people are at work. The officer suggested that ,if possible, we arrange to have our packages delivered in the evening. He also said that without camera footage it is very difficult to make arrests…so please keep an eye out, people (and install cameras!)”

44 Comment

  • When i go to my parent’s house it bewilders me how they leave their doors unlocked. DC is a city, full of people that are noticing you even though you don’t notice them. There are some truly desperate people here that don’t even have 50 cents in their pocket and they will quickly seize an opportunity to make money to eat or for drugs. If you have a nonchalant attitude towards your personal safety, unfortunately it’s highly likely that you will be a victim. If you keep your head buried in your phone while walking down the street, they’re still watching you… I think equally as important as noting the incidents here it’s important to note that people need to pay more attention to their safety and security via street smarts. As no reflection on the original post, because I don’t know the cases or people, but I’m bewildered at how many cases of this kind of victimization happen when they are quite preventable through due vigilance.

    • I don’t think it’s true that every thief is “truly desperate.”

      • These were all crimes of convenience. They take no time at all and (for the most part) could have been prevented. I speak as someone who has had their window smashed. The item in my car the thief took had nothing in it, but I should not have left it in plain sight.

  • 2 weeks ago a friend of mine who lives near 6th and Q NW was sitting in in his backyard working from home. He stepped in house briefly leaving his laptop outside. In only a minute or 2 someone came over their 6 ft fence, snatched the computer and was gone.

  • OP from post #1: So you were grilling on your back patio and someone went in through the unlocked back door during that time? Wow, that’s pretty brazen of them.
    Glad to hear that the police fingerprinted the place — from all of the disheartening accounts of burglaries I’d read on PoPville, I got the feeling that MPD refused to do fingerprinting in such incidents.

    • justinbc

      I drove past them fingerprinting a van in Capitol Hill earlier this week. I think if you press hard enough they’ll do it, but I would imagine they’re reluctant about it.

      • saf

        They dusted our house without us having to ask.

        • Mine too. From what the cops told me, burglary when someone is actually home is not the usual MO in DC. Typically it’s during the day when no one is home. They were very responsive, seemed to take it seriously, and dusted without asking.

    • I think he grilled, came in to eat, and left the door unlocked. Someone came in while he was elsewhere in the house.

      • That’s how I read it too. Not because it’s clear from the writing, but because that’s the only way it makes sense to me.

      • Ahh, OK. I see. (Looks like I wasn’t the only person who was confused!) Still, pretty brazen of the thief.

    • I’m confused — you were on your back patio, and they came in through the back door? Why didn’t you stop them?

      • Because the thief came in through the back door while the OP was inside the house eating (not on the patio)

    • You shouldn’t take everything you read on PoPville at face value.

    • The officers who respond to the scene are going to call a Crime Scene Search Officer who will take photos and prints. This ensures that no one minds doing the work. We take prints quite frequently. However, getting useable ones can be a challenge at times.

  • We also had a package stolen near nj & q. Same scenario large box ripped open during the day. Never had any issues in over 2 years. Picking up everything except maybe my pet meds; hopefully they’ll be safe.

    • Lots of packages being stolen in NJ and Q area — had one grabbed in the middle of Saturday afternoon and seeing lots of ditched packaging around lately. Maybe a camera is a good idea!

  • Crime in DC…Shocker!

  • MPD is the least professional and most incompetent police unit of the 50 major cities in the US.

      • Based on living in DC for the past 30 years. Welcome to DC newbie.

        • 20 years in DC here, and my first 20-odd years bouncing around other cities (Boston, NYC, San Francisco), and I have to agree. It’s gotten somewhat better, but when I first moved to DC I was appalled at the lack of professionalism at MPD. Intimidating people into not filing police reports, refusing to get out of cruisers to interact with citizens, parking personal vehicles in residential spots near police stations and putting “official police business” placards to avoid tickets, treating citizens with general disdain, etc. All of these things still happen with regularity, and forget complaining about them — you’ll get nothing but a defensive CYA response from MPD brass.

          • Many people agree that DC is second rate compared to Boston, NYC and San Fran. It is no surprise that the MPD follows suit.

        • justinbc

          Right. But wouldn’t you have to have lived in 50 OTHER cities in order to make that comparison, based on your claim?

        • way to lay out a convincing argument.

    • DC cops are pretty good guys. Nicest cops I’ve ever met, no joke.
      Go chat with that cops in Virginia or PG County and see what happens.
      Unfortunately, DC has the highest income inequality of any US metro area. This is the type of stuff that happens when you have destitute poor people living next to millionaire lawyers. Lots of crimes of convenience.

      • I’ve had only good experiences with MPD and that’s after 17 years of living here. Had my plates stolen at the Lowes in VA – total incompetence with the cops I dealt with there.

    • Do tell……

  • The car in the picture of the Smash and Grab at 13th and U is a Jaguar, not a Mercedes.

  • Don’t cancel your SmartTrip!!! If the thief takes the bus there is a camera recording every rider getting on and off. Go to WMATA’s website and check to see when the card is used and then they can pull up an image of the thief from the bus’ camera. I had a jury duty case where this situation occurred and that’s how they were able to catch the thief.

  • see if u can arrange with UPS for late afternoon delivery. i live in the Hill, n our UPS guy seems to do residential deliveries sometimes fr 4:00 to 6:00 pm. i think he does mostly commercial at other times. or, talk to ur block retiree or reliable senior citizen about taking in pkgs, n put that info on ur call slip, or let the UPS guy know in person. after a while, they know with whom to leave packages. good luck.

  • There were a few home burglaries in lower Mt. Pleasant last Thursday night as well. Middle of the night , owners were at home. They came in through windows, snatched wallets and a few other things, and left. Police have been very responsive.

  • I was walking my dog near 13th and W last week and, though I’m typically not on my phone, I was speaking to my boyfriend who is traveling for business. Long story short, two males (found out later they were only 15. How sad. Where are their parents?) came out if nowhere, kicked my dog (a Puggle. Punted him is more like it) then hit me in the side of my face, snatching my phone right off my ear/hand. My boyfriend heard me screaming on the other end and called 911. Props to the police…they were there almost immediately and several arrived on bikes, circling the neighborhood. They didn’t catch them, but by a stroke of sheer luck (or bad luck!) police in Tysons Corner caught them the next day, committing more crimes and now they’re in big trouble in both places 🙂 8 years of “city living” and never have experienced anything like that. Again, I’m usually pretty “street smart” and obviously shouldn’t have been on the phone (and the thieves should obviously get a life!!!) but it was scary stuff!!

    • Pretty crazy that happened right down the block. Though, that corner is a bit eerily quiet and dark at night.
      Were you walking late at night?

      • Nope, was walking right around 10pm, maybe a few minutes after. Pup and I are ok- I will say, I slept much better after hearing they caught the guy. It was odd walking around Friday, looking over my shoulder trying to see if I see him. Knowing my phone (and all that information) isn’t floating around out there helps, too.

    • Your comment struck me as downright saintly. You are 100% correct, those boys’ age & actions is absolutely sad. But if they kicked my dog, slapped me in the face, and stole my phone, I swear I think the last feeling I’d be feeling is any type of sympathy for those crazy fools. Maybe I need to work on myself… Sheesh, glad you are okay and they were caught before they learned that they could get away with such actions without getting caught!

    • That’s awful. So sorry that happened to you and to your dog!

  • To OP: Check with the owners of Whitelaw Market, I am 99% certain they have cameras. I buy beer there all the time and the owner’s name is Saleshi, he and his wife are awesome. Ask them if they have footage- I am guessing they might! Good luck and sorry you were a victim!

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