Friday Question of the Day – Have you been the Victim of a Crime while Living/Working in DC?

Photo by PoPville flickr user brunofish

Now I realize this a bit of a depressing FQotD but a reader suggested a similar poll and frankly I’m just curious. If you don’t mind sharing what happened please give a bit more detail of the incident(s) in the comments. I’d be curious to know where it happened and when (what year) it happened? I’d also be curious to know if an arrest/conviction was made?

150 Comment

  • uh, where’s the option that allows you to pick more than one?

  • About 10 years ago my wife’s car was stolen off the street in front of our house in Ledroit Park. About a week or so later it was recovered by MPD. A couple of weeks later the mechanic had repaired the damage caused by using it as a mobile crack lab and returned it to us. A week after that the car was taken off the street again.

    This time, the car didn’t show up, and the insurance paid off about four weeks after the car was taken. And then, a week later, we got a note from DPW that they’d been holding our stolen car for five weeks and if we didn’t come get it they’d sell it at auction. Apparently, after our car was recovered, it was never removed from the stolen car list. An eagle-eyed DPW worker spotted it, towed it, and didn’t bother to tell anyone.

  • 2005 SE DC: someone shot an assault rifle and the bullet went through my living room window inches from my head. I was luckily unhurt. Arrest not made.

    2009 SE DC: car was broken into for a glass scraper. Arrest not made.

  • Car window broken once, hit and run on my parked car once, and some #$%&$ stole half our shrubs from the front yard.

    That said, I’ve been almost held up at gunpoint (the guy dropped his gun and I ran) and I’ve seen someone murdered…

  • My wallet was stolen from my bag at an event in one of the House office buildings. I didn’t realize it until the next day and reported it to the US Capitol Police. Remarkably, they did catch and prosecute the guy! Props to the US Capitol cops for using Metro video feed to track the guy down after he used my credit cards to buy Metro fare cards.

    • If you work on the Hill having access to the Capitol police is almost a fringe benefit. They love to track down people who cause problems for staff. Wish that MPD was as diligent.

      • Oh, totally! Most of them are really sweet. When our car was broken into outside our house a couple years ago, we drove it to work to park it in the garage for safekeeping (and because it was going to rain/snow all weekend). The Capitol police noticed the broken window on the way in and were super concerned about what had happened – they almost seemed disappointed when we told them it had happened off campus so they couldn’t look into it.

  • 2008 – Car broken into on 15th and Euclid because I left a phone charger on the seat. They rummaged through my glove compartment but didn’t steal a thing. They even left all my “teach yourself banjo” cassettes which was nice.

  • Car broken into, stereo stolen in Columbia Heights in 2006, or thereabouts. The police acted like I was a giant waste of their time for requesting a report.

  • House broken into while we were home (minimal loss) x 1
    House broken into while we were away (much more extensive loss) x 1
    Car lock busted (nothing taken) x 1
    Held up at gunpoint, persuaded the robber to just take my money ($20 loss) x 1
    Bike theft (learned how to lock up bike after second time, no issues since then) x 2

    This spans five houses, three neighborhoods and more than twenty years all together. I know I’ve been fortunate in that these incidents are not noteworthy. And that in recent years I’ve had great neighbors who pay attention and look out for neighbors. I feel very fortunate to be living in these circumstances.

    • Are we at the point where being held up at gunpoint is not noteworthy?

      • Being held up at gunpoint would be noteworthy, what made it less so for me was that I wasn’t hurt, the robber didn’t take my wallet or gym bag with new sneakers and whatever musical device I was using at the time (walkman?). I asked him to just take the money and he did.

  • 2006-car broken into in Adams Morgan, didn’t bother reporting it
    2010-robbed at gunpoint in Columbia Heights, arrest made but no conviction due to police incompetence, though robbers were minors so there was little chance of them facing actual consequences for the crime anyway
    2014-large package stolen from in front of house in Columbia Heights, didn’t bother reporting it

  • Guy walks behind me and threatens, goin’ downturn huh, dude took two to the chest, dude took two to the chest. And another incident, I hear, thought you’d want to chill, thought you’d want to chill, as he pocketed his firearm and walked away into the night. Ah east DuPont circle in the old days….

  • A few years ago (2011 I think it was), as my neighborhood really started to improve, a burglary ring did something like 18 or 19 burglaries in a 3-month span. I got hit twice…within 2 weeks of each other. Upon breaking in the second time and finding that I had not yet replaced the stuff stolen the first time (waiting for both a security system to be installed and the check from my insurance company from the first incident), the b****ds stole a set of sheets out of my closet, my circa 2003 CD player/radio (which I think cost $30 in 2003), and a handful of small kitchen appliances (hand mixer, cheap-o small coffee maker, I think maybe a cheap blender). This was in the Brookland area. The police were very nice but it never went anywhere. They stole mostly easy-to-fence electronics the first time.

    2007-ish (it was winter, so it might have been late 2006) Capitol Hill some punk kid (16-ish) tried to break in on a weekend morning. I scared him off when I looked out a window after hearing a noise in the yard. I got a robust and very quick police response (something like 6 carloads of officers, which was honestly a bit much), but that also went nowhere. In his rush to leave, the kid flipped head-first over our 6′ fence while trying to get a foothold. At least karma got him a little bit…

  • House broken into in the middle of the afternoon, computer, TV, bike stolen in Hill East. Recovered bike 8 months later downtown.

    • How’d you recover the bike? I’m asking because my boyfriend’s bike was stolen off my porch in Columbia Heights last month and we’re still holding out hope. Thanks!

      • Husband saw it locked up outside a coffee shop, he waited for the owner. They conversed and the guy gae the bike back. He had bought it off the street for 50.

  • Wish it had the option to pick more than one. I’ve had two bikes stolen (2006 & 2013) and been mugged twice (2000 and 2013) and my old car was broken into (2008) – stereo and change stolen. The first mugging I was punched in the face and the mugger got nothing, the second time a gun was pulled on me on my front porch as I opened the door. Jerkface got my tip money, shoes, makeup, sunglasses, iphone, wallet. Someone found my driver’s license and other cards and mailed them back to me. So there’s that.

  • tonyr

    In the spirit of being fair and balanced I live in Shaw and I’ve never been a victim of any kind of crime. I say this not to brag, but in reflection of the poll percentages. I did have my scarf stolen by a crowd of Arsenal supporters at Euston tube station in 1977, so there’s that.

  • 2004 – cleveland park. porter, near wisconsin, maybe 1 am. hear running behind me, next thing i know i am thrown to the ground. just start yelling help. they kick me a few times, telling me to give up my wallet. i keep on yelling help and they run off. keep my wallet.
    2007 – alley on 15th b/w S and Swann. i am taking the trash out, pass a couple folks who look out of place but i’m on the cell phone and don’t pay any attention to it. they hit me with a brick or something after i’ve passed them. lucky to remain concious, i yell help. they run off without anything. ambulance came, i didn’t have great insurance so i told them no, but they insisted and when i looked in a mirror and saw the bruise i agreed.
    lesson, i think, is to yell help whenever you’re mugged. they care more about staying out of jail than they do about getting your wallet.
    also from 2005-6 I lived on the 1200 block of Fairmont. no problems. certain areas are more crime prone because they’re target rich.

    • I was mugged in 2002 on Porter in Cleveland Park. Three guys surrounded me and I gave them my wallet. One of them was then nice enough to punch me in the face. The didn’t get caught, despite the fact that they tried to buy stuff online and have it shipped to an address in MD. MPD said they couldn’t do anything because it was ouside their jurisdiction.

  • ~2004 – Car window smashed. I was new to DC at the time and figured that since I knew the briefcase in the backseat was worthless, so would any potential thief. He wound up tossing it over a fence in a nearby yard and it was recovered a day or two later.

  • “…favors the locals….”

    Curious as to what this is supposed to mean?

  • The only real “crime” in my mind occurred in 2005, when a friend and I stepped off my front porch with beers in our hands to see something on the sidewalk and in under 60 seconds were slammed up against the retaining wall by undercover MPD. Cuffed, had our shoelaces and belts removed like common criminals in front of all of our neighbors, spent the day in jail, and had a spot on an otherwise clean record. The actual criminals of DC have left me alone.

  • Spring 2004 7 PM on the 1700 block of Church St NW in Dupont; guy held my friend and I at gun point. At least he only took our cash (handed wallets back to us) and we didn’t get shot.

  • In 2007 Gucci loafers were a standard $395. Now they are upwards of $600! It’s a crime that Neimans gets away with.

  • 1988 – I was held up at knifepoint along with my manager while leaving Churches Fried Chicken on Rhode Island Avenue. No arrests
    1995 – My rear window was blown out by someone who lit a cherry bomb next to my brand new Corolla. In Edgewood on 4th of July
    2005&6 – My purse was stolen once while at a gas station in SE then in NE. The recovery company called me when they found my check book in a stolen car in SE.

  • Only the crime of prices at small plates restaurants

  • Had my solar lawn lights stolen 3x’s, then I said screw it I’m not replacing them(2006). Most recently package theft.(2014) This is in Trinidad.

  • 2003 – Wife’s (then fiancee’s) car broken into the day she moved in with me. She had an old computer in the back seat, I was tired from moving all day, and figured I’d leave it there and just get it the next Morning. In Adams Morgan. On a Saturday night. I’m an idiot.
    2007 – Car stolen, Columbia Heights. Recovered 60 days later in a parking lot in PG County (thankfully after I’d gotten a check, so it was Geico’s problem), though it apparently was in the neighborhood long enough to get 2 red light photo enforcement tickets within blocks of my house.
    2010ish – Car windon broken in Columbia Heights, car ransacked, nothing taken (learned my lesson).

  • 1996 – NW DC, Sexually assaulted while leaving a club.
    1998 – SE DC, Car broken into and vandalized. Cassette tapes were stolen, and the radio antenna was broken off. The police said that antennas are used for drugs.
    2003 – NW DC to Alexandria VA Victim of a racial crime; a man boarded a metro train and threatened to tie me to the back of his truck and drag me, told me to go back to Africa, etc. The arrest and trial took place in Alexandria, so I guess this one only half counts.

  • In 2001 I had to call the plumber to fix the broken garbage disposal in my rental apartment in Glover Park. He got the key from the landlord and came over to fix it while I was at work. When I got home from work, my apartment was a big mess and and a bunch of stuff was missing: two bottles of Puerto Rican rum, some cheap jewelry, and my Chuck Brown Live at the 930 Club cd. The garbage disposal was not only still broken, but some of my kitchen utensils were jammed inside and all chewed up. Twenty years in Dc and this is thankfully the only crime I have been a victim of. I didn’t report it, but I did buy a new Chuck Brown cd.

  • jim_ed

    I guess we’ve been lucky. The only crime we’ve been the victim of was my wife accidentally left her purse on the front porch when she went to open the door for me when I was carrying something heavy one night, and within the 30 minutes before she realized it, it had walked off into the night.

  • No and I have lived here over 13 years (off Alabama Ave SE., Southern Ave SE, North Capitol NW, VanNess, CT Ave. and most recently Columbia Heights for the last 7 years.)

  • I’ve been mugged twice. Once was a snatch and run, the other I was punched in the face after my purse was stolen.

  • In the past 3 years, I had my car broken into and my wallet stolen from the locker at the gym. In both cases the MPD were thorough, professional, and amazingly efficient at catching the perps. In both cases the judicial system ground things to a halt – 12 and 16 month delays until trial, respectively. Both of the criminals who robbed me were released on bond only to disappear and not show up for their trials.

  • hispanicandproud

    My friend got robbed and beat up by a couple of guys a few weeks ago near Monroe and 14th. They took his phone, his backpack, credit cards, all his cash and even his shoes. Idiots kicked him all over and left him pretty bruised up. He didn’t want to report it because of his beat at work and they would have pulled his credentials to conduct an investigation. Some of my great friends all came to together and gave him money to help him get back on track.

    • I hope your friend is ok. It’s one thing if the police don’t do anything, it’s another that you can’t even report it. Sorry, friend!

  • 2011 – Capitol Hill – Car window smashed 3x. Nothing stolen but a pair of prescription sunglasses on one occasion.
    2010 – Capitol Hill – Sometime tried to break in during the day when I was home sick, only managed to mess up the doorknob and lock. Didn’t get in and didn’t get caught.

  • In 2006, I was robbed at gunpoint in Columbia Heights. I worked late, and decided to take a cab home, thinking it would be safer than public transit. As I was paying, a guy ran up and stuck a gun in the driver’s side window and took the driver’s cash. Then the guy notices me, and says, “Give me everything,” so I did. Oddly, I wasn’t really scared. It felt transactional–I’m going to give you my cash, and, in exchange, you’re not going to shoot me. The robber and two friends then ran off. I called the cops, but they never got the guys. Fortunately, this never happened again, but I always look around when paying a cabbie.
    A couple years ago, someone ripped our backyard wooden gate off the hinges while we were out of town. They broke into one of our storage sheds but didn’t take anything, I suppose because our Christmas decorations weren’t worth much in a quick sale. What did they expect, iphones in our shed? I made the gate much more secure, but someone recently tried again to get through the gate but failed.

  • 2004: Purse snatched when I was studying in a coffee shop in Adams Morgan, but I regard that as partially my fault. I had my purse on the back of the chair. It was my second year living in DC. I wised up after that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 2014 purse taken out of my car while i was oblivious pumping gas. lesson learned the hard way

  • 2005 – Car stolen from Bunker Hill Road, NE. Happened on a Saturday afternoon while I was playing at a local acoustic blues jam. While I was waiting for the police to show up, a woman came out of her house and told me she saw some kids take my car. She had called 911 and was put on hold.

    It was recovered a couple of days later in either District Heights or Capitol Heights (forget which one) with lots of damage. Had to pay the insurance deductible and for a rental car for a couple of weeks.

    The idiots who stole it left some photo prints from Giant in the car. Don’t know if It was them, but most of the prints featured young guys (young teen and younger), some of them flashing gang signs. I figured since I couldn’t prove it was the thieves, and there are so many cars stolen every day, giving the photos to the police wouldn’t help. If this happened today I would have scanned them and posted them on facebook and 0ther places.

  • 2003 — 3600 Block of NH Ave NW — had my grass stolen. Yep, that’s right, 45 sq feet of freshly laid sod rolled up and carted away. Police response was, well, minimal.

  • The federal government steals part of my paycheck every two weeks.

  • When living in Shaw in 2008, within a 6 month period: 1) had my purse yanked out of car passenger side window while I was sitting next to it in front seat getting gas…we gave chase (stupid) and got the purse back immediately because the robber got winded from running. 2) had someone thisclose to stealing bike from garage after, we walked out and happened to catch him while he was about to open garage door, questioned him and he dropped bike. 3) came home from work to see a bullet hole through bay window and lodged in brick behind drywall, reported it and cops replied that the kids were out of school for summer.

  • 2007: Hill East, attempted break in, burglars successful with our two neighbors that night
    2008: Hill East, package stolen from front porch
    2013: Adams Morgan, rear window smashed, nothing stolen
    2014: Adams Morgan, side window smashed, nothing stolen

    Fingers crossed life stays this calm.

  • A few months after moving to DC 2 years ago, I was attacked by dudes hiding behind cars while riding my bike home from a party late at night (3ish). Was riding back to MtP on Columbia rd b/w 17 and 16. Three guys hid between parked cars; one jumped out and clocked me in the throat. I was able to stay up on my bike so I just booked it and called the police. Moments later, while I was still on the phone with the 911 operator, the guys pulled up alongside me in a black SUV and were calling me some “interesting” things. I ended the call, slammed my brakes, and by that point the driver gunned it through a red light at 16th. I didnt call the cops again that night because I had been drinking earlier and was worried I’d be over the limit (its still DUI on a bike). I eventually did try to report it 2 days later, just for the statistics (yeah, i know better now). The cop who came by to take my statement more or less refused to file up a report (every MPD officer I’ve interacted with since then has been great). Lessons learned: be extremely cautious of your surroundings after dark on empty roads, and never ride in the bike lane unless someone behind you is trying to pass.

    • also had a bike stolen this year and have been threatened by drivers many many many many times while biking. but those don’t count to most people

  • ~2008 – Purse stolen from the back of my chair in a Georgetown restaurant. Credit cards were used within minutes. (Georgetown)
    -2008 – all the cars in my alley (mine included) were stripped of their locks (driver side door) but before they could actually steal one (or more) someone called the cops (Columbia Heights)
    -2009 – car was hijacked at a gas station (around where the Costco is heading to Rt 50)
    -2011 – car window broken into for a car charger and gym bag (U Street)
    2013- package(s) stolen after delivery (Columbia Heights)

  • Oh what a cheerful way to get started on a Friday ๐Ÿ™‚

    If I recall correctly…

    2011: Car broken into, Adams Morgan (this one was ‘my fault’, I left a laptop bag in it).
    2012: Car broken into, Adams Morgan (also probably ‘my fault’, we had a campaing duffel bag in the backseat).
    2014: Car broken into, Dupont (totally random! There was nothing visible! No idea why they did this. They got my GPS out of the glove compartment though.)
    2014: Bike stolen, Shaw (thought I had locked the frame and wheel but I guess I missed the frame somehow, they took it clean off the wheel. I guess ‘my fault’ as well).

    Guess I’ve been lucky. The only thing of value ever taken was my bike, which I still miss :(. And replacing windows in cars is such a PITA, I’m almost inclined to just start leaving the doors unlocked so they can see for themselves there is nothing in there to steal.

  • I’ve been very lucky not to have been a victim, but not for lack of opportunity. The closest call I had was walking home in Columbia Heights about ten years ago. It was a bit before midnight and I was walking alone, when some guy jumped out of a car and started trying to talk to me and get me to come with them. There was no way I was getting in some random guy’s car, and was luckily able to talk my way out of any problems. Of course, I had to say no 10 times and he only stopped approaching me when I was almost screaming it. But he did eventually get that whatever he was after wasn’t happening and go away.

    • After the first “no” I would just start screaming like a banshee. Going from “zero” to “bloody murder” in one second flat tends to scare the shit out of guys.

      • I wasn’t scared enough to scream until he persisted beyond the point where it was really clear he wasn’t getting anywhere. It all happened over maybe a minute and went from talking normally, then getting louder and louder as he kept trying to escalate the situation. To be fair, I don’t think he was actually trying to hurt me. The guy just seemed kind of clueless that being a big dude jumping out of a car at a small woman walking alone at night might be alarming to her. Hopefully he got a clue after that.

        • Yeah, I definitely understand that sometimes things happen too fast and you’re too shocked to react. I’m in the camp that even if there’s a chance someone wasn’t really trying to hurt me, I’m still better off screaming bloody murder and risking only his hurt feelings and waking the neighbors.

  • My husband and I were held up at gunpoint in March a half block from our (then) house, on the block of L St. next to the Passenger. The guy who robbed us looked like he was about 50 years old, and it never even occurred to us that we should steer clear of him.

    The guy was very insistent on taking cash and watches (even though neither of us was wearing a watch) and he took my purse and my husband’s briefcase. Thankfully, he didn’t even ask for our wedding rings. Everything was replaceable and thankfully no one was hurt.

    I’m went to therapy because of it, and am not really shaken up over the robbery at this point, beyond raising my general awareness about crime in the neighborhood. I also not have a detective’s cell phone number on hand so I can reach him directly instead of 911 and can’t imagine doing that otherwise.

    The robbery also really heightened my sensitivity to the fact that this city is utterly failing a large number of its long-term residents, who were inadequately schooled, basically from birth, and whose options have been radically limited through things that were largely out of their own control. I’m still trying to find a way to meaningfully try to help do something about that.

  • Ugh, I’m going to stop reading these now – making me paranoid. I have lived here 11 years and only had a car break-in with nothing stolen. So sad to hear these stories of repeat violent crime victims.

  • house was broken into in 2013. luckily no one was home except the cats

  • Purse was stolen while I was shopping, but that was out in VA. Purse was left in the store bathroom (which I figured out by using the store phone to call my cell and a little girl -maybe 6?- answered and I could hear water running. Got to the bathroom and my purse was there, with my car keys (thank god) but wallet and cell were gone. Store had cameras and security, but refused to look at the footage. Also had what would have been a hit and run on my car by a delivery driver. I was home and heard the crunch and came outside as he was starting to drive off. I yelled at him and took a pic of his truck with his license plate, so he stopped to actually report it. Also in VA.

    At the risk of jinxing it, no crime since I moved into DC 4 years ago.

  • My car has been broken into 3 to 4 times… But I never leave anything valuable in it. It’s a soft top wrangler after all! Just zip yourself in.

    I will note that it never happened living in VA, mt pleasant, or petworth. Only in DuPont.

  • Wow. I feel “lucky” that I’ve only been the victim of a home burglary, and wasn’t there to experience it in person. Thief got my cheap-ass TV and Wii, but I was more pissed that they destroyed my back door & frame in the process, and it cost $1600 to replace. That said, I feel fortunate not to have experienced any mugging in my 20+ years here.

  • In all fairness, I’ve never answered a poll here before but felt compelled to do so because I have had my cell phone stolen.

  • Mugged once non violent
    Wife mugged once violent
    Car windows broken 3x and items stolen
    Tires slashed
    Hit and run against wife’s car 3x
    Packages stolen off porch

    How do you select more than one option?

  • Two years ago I was living in Eckington and was robbed while at home. I was upstairs in the bathroom and I don’t think the burglar knew that I was at home. When I came downstairs my front window was open (pro-tip: always make sure you and your roommates remember to lock all windows!) and all of my things (purse, laptop, bag) were gone. They had tried to take other things but I think hearing me upstairs or someone outside scared them and they fled. The detective on my case said that there had been a large string of robberies within a two block radius. A year later to the day, I received a call that the guy had finally been caught in another robbery and plead guilty to my robbery. Non-violent, but definitely invasive.

  • In the past 5 years:

    * package stolen from in front of my house (needlepoints that my grandmother had made). I was furious with myself on that one…should have had the package sent to work.

    * wallet stolen at Nats Park, cancelled credit cards immediately but someone used my metro card. From now on, my purse sits on my lap the whole game.

    * have called 911 multiple times for hearing gunshots and have been questioned twice by police after witnessing shootings (once in Shaw, once in SW). While I haven’t been the victim, several times someone was hit, and once someone was killed.

  • We’ve had packages stolen off of our porch periodically. The thing that really got me was when our bikes were stolen from under our back porch. Made us feel a little less safe at home. That’s when we got the dead bolt put on our back gate door and installed a shed with a lock to provide even less incentive to break into our back yard.

  • In 2010, someone tried to mug me with a gun in an Orange Line Metro car heading towards MD. Lifted his shirt, showed me the gun, tried to grab the e-reader I was holding. I reacted by punching him in the face–which he didn’t expect at all–and this turned into a fist-fight. He took off as soon as the doors opened at the next station. I ended up with a black eye, but kept my nook. 15 people on the train did NOTHING, save one woman who goes, “White boy, you bleeding.” Yeah, f— you too.

  • Non-violent mugging here.

    A guy followed me to my house in Mt. Pleasant at around 7 pm on a Sunday in Jan 2008, pulled a gun on me and demanded I give him my cash. I handed over my wallet, at what point he took the cash out, dropped the wallet, and ran off.
    The DCPD actually answered my call right away, and showed up at my house within half an hour. Apparently, this guy had been on something of a spree, so I wasn’t the first person they had heard this story from.
    All in all, it was about as un-terrible an armed mugging as you could ask for– I kept my keys, my credit cards and my phone, and the guy never so much as touched me. The real kicker was it was my birthday, so people kept calling to wish me happy birthday while I was trying to talk to the cops.

  • I had my bike stolen out of my friend’s fenced-in backyard. Bike was a beater anyway but it was still a hassle. Yard was fenced in with a 6+ foot-tall wooden fence and the bike was cable locked to the fence. I had left the bike overnight outside of bars and places like that (don’t ride drunk kiddos!) only locked with a cable many times before this happened too, with no problems. Learned my lesson, U Lock and cable lock now. Didn’t report it (didn’t even think about it to be honest, but if it happened again today I would). This was at N. Cap and Bates St NW.

  • Apartment break-in. Actually, it was more of a walk-in, since the door was accidentally left unlocked. It happened while I was asleep in the next room, so I count my blessings that it didn’t turn violent. Also, now I have renter’s insurance.

  • bike stolen from locked garage – 1999
    bike stolen from locked bike room – 2014
    house robbed while we were at a concert at wolftrap – all electronics stolen – 1999
    violent gay-bash assault in front of the Reeves Center -2002

  • Back in the fall of 2005, I was meeting a friend at Cafe St. Ex on a Wednesday evening at around 9pm when I was approached by a kid no older than 15 who flashed a fairly large pistol demanding my wallet. I was walking east on T Street NW when the kid emerged from an alley about 1/2 block from 14th Street. He flashes the gun and tells me to pretend like we were having a casual conversation. The kid proceeds to check my pants pockets and manages to find maybe $5 in loose bills. For some reason I had my wallet and phone in my jacket, which he didn’t bother to check. With the $5 in hand, he then tells me to turn around and walk back toward 15th Street. A scary thought when someone is holding a gun.

    I call the police who then tell me to stay where I am, which seems utterly absurd given that I was just robbed. I tell the dispatcher that an officer can meet me at St. Ex, where I immediately ordered a drink to calm my nerves. The bartender listens to my story, takes pity on me and buys my first round. Dude sitting next to me overhears what happened and he buys me a drink. My friend arrives at the bar, he proceeds to buy me a round or two. By the end of the night not a single police officer arrives to take my story, I have consumed maybe $40 of free booze, and I’m feeling quite tipsy. My mugging resulted in a net profit of $35.

  • alissaaa

    In the summer of 2011 I was walking home from the gym and had just crossed 15th street and was walking on the north side of S street towards 16th. My headphones had broken the day before and I hadn’t replaced them, so I was holding my phone while talking on it rather than using my headphones. A maybe 16-year old kid was walking down the sidewalk in the opposite direction of me and I didn’t think anything of it until he knocked me to the ground, hitting me in the process and taking my phone.

    I ran after him screaming bloody murder, and saw that he had a lookout on the other side of the street, and both of them went running down the alley on 15th between S and R. I was smart enough to not run down the alley after them, and got someone to call 911 but they were long gone once the police got there.

    I guess that counts as a violent mugging?

  • Twice. Robbed by group of three teen-agers, one with a gun, in the early evening (after dark, but before 7 PM) in February of 2006. Robbed again by 3 teen-agers, one with a knife, this past May. In both cases, they just wanted cash and didn’t seem to be particularly experienced. In the incident with the gun, I was somewhat afraid that they might shoot me by accident.

  • 2007-2009- three car breakins all around 13th and Florida Ave NW. First one was totally my fault. I left my portable satellite radio player in view in the car. I didn’t live here yet. I was in town visiting from PA and assumed because I could leave that kind of stuff visible at home with no problems it would be fine. I quickly lost that idealistic pov. They stole the player and all my CDs. Second time they used a rock to smash my ignition to attempt to hotwire my car. Third time they smashed my window and stole an old iPod I forgot was in there that was in the center console but not visible. They left a hat in the car and MPD took fingerprints but nothing ever came from it. I moved to DC in summer 2009 and bought a car alarm before I moved. No additional problems with that car til I traded it in in 2010. Clearly I should’ve got an alarm after the first break in.

    2011- Ledeoit Park-husband’s car was rummaged through but he had accidentally left it unlocked. I had my sunglasses (around $100 value) in the glove compartment but they weren’t stolen.

    2012- Ledroit Park-husband’s car was broken into in our garage (garage door was open because it was broken). One of the windows was smashed. His GPS was in the trunk but they didn’t look there. Maybe they got some change.

    2013- Ledroit Park-my temporary plates were stolen off my new car

    In hindsight I feel lucky nothing worse ever happened. We walked home drunk all the time at 2-3 am, sometimes I’d walk home alone.

    We moved to the burbs last year and one day I accidently left my wallet in my car and forgot to lock the door. It was clear we weren’t in DC anymore when I came out the next day and it was still there.

  • I consider myself pretty lucky that my car has never been broken into, and I’ve never been mugged or had an apartment/house break-in.
    2011 – Stolen package (DSL router signed for by someone named Jose and never seen again).
    July 4, 2009 (?) – Saw a guy masturbating at a bus stop on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan while I was walking to Meridian Hill Park for the fireworks.
    2002 – Minor sexual assault when I was walking from Mount Pleasant back to Adams Morgan — three teenagers on bicycles who each slapped my butt HARD as they whooshed past me. The police response was well-intentioned but kind of incompetent… they wanted me to ID some guys that had been seen at Harvard and Argonne, but the cop didn’t know where Argonne was and drove all the way east on Harvard to the reservoir.
    1999 (while I was living in the ‘burbs) – Evaded what I think was an attempted carjacking on the GW Parkway late at night. A car was following me, slowing down when I slowed down and speeding up when I sped up. We were the only cars on the road. I saw a car ahead of me in the distance and thought, “Aha! When I reach it, I’ll be safe.” However, when I reached that car, it slowed down and I was about to be trapped between it and the car behind me. Somehow I had the presence of mind to quickly pull into the left lane, drive around the car, and hightail it onto the exit ramp to the Beltway.

  • saf

    I can’t vote because I can’t answer the way the questions are structured.

    Burglary – once right after we moved in, once a year later, then 10 years later. Then we got an alarm.
    Stolen porch plants – once
    Broken car window (Bethesda)
    Stabbed motorcycle tire (Mt Pleasant)
    Bank robbery (I was working as a teller)
    Vandalism (Broken window)
    Car running from cops crashed through fence

  • I’ve been mugged 2 times since moving to DC and violently beaten twice. Each time required that I take a day or two off work to partially recover from my injuries and gain my bearings again:

    2010: Stopped at the ATM that was located in the old NPR building. Was mugged at knifepoint as I walked away from the ATM by two men. They made me walk into some parking lot or junkyard next to the building that was a little out of sight and proceeded to beat me after taking my belongings. Nothing ever happened – MPD seemed inconvenienced when they swung by.

    2012: Was walking up 14th Street in the late morning on a Tuesday to catch Metro to Reagan National. Was walking down the street checking my phone to see when the next train was going to be coming into the station and how much time I had to make it. Some guy ran up from behind, hit my face, and tried to snatch my phone but I fought him off.

    2013: Apartment was broken into and robbed. Nothing ever happened – MPD seemed inconvenienced when they stopped by.

    2014: Anti-gay guy beat me. He plead guilty.

    2014: Was walking home after work in the late evening. Instead of walking around Dupont Circle, I decided to take a shortcut and cut through the circle. Bad idea. I was beaten by 2 men who took all my belongings – including my SmartTrip card! Nothing ever happened – MPD seemed inconvenience when they came by. I still have scars on my face and arms.

    Otherwise, a package was stolen off my porch in 2010 and I sometimes receive racial slurs when walking down the street (I’m Latino).

  • All these happened to me between 2002-2008 while living in Woodley Park:
    – Non violent mugging in broad daylight on Conn Ave. by a group of juveniles. Cops caught one of them in the metro station and went to court over it. She got probation for a couple months, never turned in any of her “friends”
    – Car window smashed, loose change in hidden compartment and emergency car repair kit in trunk stolen. Didn’t bother reporting to the police.
    – Car set on fire. Arson unit did nothing.

  • Mugged at gunpoint. Fortunately I didn’t have much with me (just like $40 in cash).

    The criminals were smaller in stature (I am not). Had I had my wallet and/or phone with me and they had not brandished a gun, I may have done something slightly stupid.

    Interesting post-script: I lived in MD at the time. Since I had no phone with me and they took all my money, I walked home (several miles), then called the police. DC police told me that they couldn’t come into MD to take my statement and I had to go to 4D to make a report. 4D was not at all close to my house and I had been drinking (moderately) so I wasn’t about to drive. Has anybody else run into DCPD not being willing to cross a jurisdictional line to meet with a victim?

    • I was a victim of identity theft several years ago. The guy (actually group of guys, busted by FBI as part of large identity theft ring shortly thereafter) was using a Maryland address in conjunction with my info, while I lived in DC. I walked into the 4D police station to file a report. They initially refused to take it on the grounds that the crime occurred in Maryland. I asked them if they’d expect me to travel to Alaska if somebody in Alaska had stolen my identity. They conceded that they honestly did not know what their own protocol was when a DC resident was victimized, presumably by electronic means, by somebody not in DC, and took the report.

  • 2013 – Motorcycle stolen from NW. Later recovered in SE half-destroyed, MPD sent it to a private tow lot in NE. Tow lot owner extorted me for $200. No arrest made, but I was told they had their best detective on the case

  • July 1989: Moved to 14th and Rhode Island, NW (apt looked out to the Barrel House parking lot).

    February 1990: Held up at gunpoint by clearly drug-addicted man. P St, NW between 14th and 15th (in front of what was then the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, now high-end condos). He wanted only the money out of my wallet (I had $12) and am pretty sure the gun was a toy, but it was dark. He ended up being arrested (robbed 11 people over 3 weeks, every time hiding the gun in a bright yellow Errol’s Video bag, which we all remembered) and pled guilty to 4 of 11 robberies.

    August 1991: Move to Takoma Park

    October 1994: Car trunk broked into on I ST, NW, near 15th. Thieves stole an old textbook (“Dynamic Optimization of Macroeconomic Systems”) and the broken side mirror I’d just had replaced (the old part was left in my trunk by the mechanic). Dumbest criminals ever.

    December 1995: Attempted theft of my roommate’s girlfriend’s Jeep outside PG Plaza (does it count if it’s in MD?) . Thief still in car when we got back to it, but he got away when he outran the roommate.

    May 1998: Move to Silver Spring, MD

    September 1999: Witness to shooting inside Union Station Metro. Point police to some blood and other evidence (apparently a stabbing preceded the shooting).

    September 2001: 7 blocks from the White House on 9/11. Enough said.

    June 2003: Move to Petworth

    November 2004: Gay basked at Randolph and Kansas Ave, NW. Brick smashed into my face; I turn irate, attackers flee like the cowards they are. Best part? Answering the EMTs questions in the ambulance (to determine whether I have a concussion) and respond to “Who is the President?” with the answer “The wrong f*cking guy – it should have been Kerry.” EMT records that as a coherent response. $50,000 in reconstructive surgery covered (thankfully) by very good health insurance.

  • Had my car broken into twice back in 2012. For crying out loud – it’s a 2002 Civic with a shitty $20 stereo unit, but they took it anyway. The second time I guess they just felt like breaking in and taking a look around – I didn’t even have a stereo in there to steal!

  • been here 19 years and never had a problem with my car. but in the last year, i’ve had 3 car break ins.
    also was assaulted once in adams morgan and once on north capitol. both a long time ago now.

  • 2009 – Robbed at gunpoint in Columbia Heights, cops took statement, assume crook was not caught.

  • brookland_rez

    It’s been a while, but I had someone smash my window and steal my radio when I lived on Parker St in 2006. When I lived on Lincoln Rd, had stray bullets go through my truck. Lastly, had someone attempt to break into my shed about a year ago, but they were unsuccessful.

  • 7 years, 4 crimes (at a personal cost of ~$200) and once “anti-crime” that saved me a lot of time, money, and frustration and restored my faith in humanity

    2008 – Chinatown, bike theft; bike was unlocked (I know now how stupid that was!) sitting on a balcony 40 feet high
    2009 – SW Waterfront, attempted mugging ~10pm (young man on a bike tried to convince me to give him all my stuff, I ran to nearby apartment building door, went inside, called cops. Boy followed me into locked area (I had gone through a second locked door by this time) and couldn’t figure out how to exit. Called cops and they detained him, but not much done since he was a juvenile).
    2012 – SW (near L’Enfant) observed homeless man masturbating (and quickly got out of there!)
    2014 – Columbia heights, package (academic book worth <$20) stolen off front porch

    2008 anti-crime – Chinatown, My wallet fell out of my pocket onto the sidewalk. I noticed it was missing 20 feet later and by then it was gone. I asked around and recovered it a few minutes later after discovering an FBI agent on the way to work had seen somebody trying to inconspicuously kick it to the side to take. S/he turned it in to the front desk of a nearby building and they were calling my credit card company to report my cards as lost when I found them. This act of kindness saved my vacation, since I was on my way to the airport!

  • As a lover of stats…it would be interesting to see this data compared to years lived in DC.

  • 2010: mugged at gunpoint at the car barn. around 9 pm on a sunday. entered gate, guy hiding behind wall grabbed my bag from behind and yanked me backward. i turned around, kicked my leg out, yelled “are you f-ing kidding me?” then he pulled out the gun and i let go of the bag. instinct was to be quiet, but quickly thought “someone needs to know this is happening” and yelled. neighbors came out, he ran, neighbor gave chase (even though i told him not to bc the guy had a gun), but he got away. cops showed up pretty quickly after 911 call, but nothing was ever found. got away with my wallet, work BB, sunglasses, and bag. luckily iphone, house keys, and ipod were in my coat pockets at the time. luckily nothing since. knocks on wood.

  • -Car broken into in Columbia Heights before I even moved to DC. Was staying overnight at my GF’s place.

    -After I moved into CH with said GF, two bikes stolen from our bike locker inside the condo building.

    F*ck Theives.

  • I have been subjected to a form of crime I have not seen others mention; Drive by slapping. Kids on bikes drive by and hit you on the head. This has happened to me twice in DC. Both times the slap was very hard and dangerous.

  • Yep. Burglary (Georgetown, 1994), Assault (Georgetown, 1996), multiple theft-from-autos (U Street, 1997-ish), Armed Robbery (Adams Morgan, 2001), Attempted Burglary (Eckington, 2010).

  • 2007- Car hit and run while parked at least 3x in Mt P. Never bothered calling cops, as it was 2007 in Mt P.
    2011- Nearly run down on my bike by Range Rover. Chased guy (I’m an idiot with a temper) and proceeded to exchange a couple of punches before bystanders broke it up. Didn’t bother with cops, as I was partially culpable.
    2012- Wife assaulted by angry MD driver on her bike. Cops called, guy arrested and charged. Cops from 2D were awesome.

  • When smoking a cigarette on park road just before the Target moved in, a man “fell” into me grabbing my breasts and crotch. At least a half dozen onlookers from the neighborhood stood there and laughed as I screamed at him. Good looking out DC.

  • 2003 Car broken into on Good Hope Road
    2007 SUV Broken into downtown on 10th Street
    2008 4 tires (and rims) stolen from SUV off Penn Ave SE
    2013 Bullet through my bedroom window ( I was asleep at the time) off Penn Ave SE

    • This was intended for the “They got ’em working in shifts comment.” Having been a violent crime victim in the past, there is absolutely no way I’d think any of these incidents were +1-worthy.

  • 2012 – Columbia Hts – My house was burgled, no one was home. Crawled in & out of a small kitchen window. Took 3 laptops and a bottle of fruitloop vodka. Police report filed, no arrest made.

  • My new 15″ macbook was stolen at a Starbucks near the National Cathedral in 2010 (broad daylight, early Sunday afternoon, the shop was packed).

    While I was working on the laptop with my earbuds in, a young man came up to me and asked for directions to the Metro, and when I took out an earbud to respond, he grabbed my laptop so hard that the earbuds came out. One of his sidekicks grabbed the tip jar and then held the door open while the guy with my laptop ran out. I ran after them and saw them get into a “get away” car (wasn’t going very fast because traffic was gnarly, of course), so I got the license plate number (DC plates).

    I called the police and filed a report because there were TONS of witnesses (no exaggeration, probably 25-30 people in the coffee shop and on the sidewalk outside) and the Starbucks manager offered to provide the store’s surveillance footage to the police. I also provided the police with my laptop serial number, but the police did nothing even after I followed up repeatedly. I feel like I spoon-fed them the case, and I was disappointed but not surprised by their response. Thankfully, my renters insurance covered the cost of replacing the laptop (even though I was not at home!) and I am very careful about backing everything up, so it was okay.

    • While they could have pretended to be more sympathetic, the police can’t really do much unless they happen to find your stuff. There’s a decent chance the getaway car, or at least the plates, were stolen. But your story does make a point we should all see: good insurance does wonders. Renters and homeowners insurance often covers portable property outside of your home, and we should all make sure we have those policies and that coverage. As well as do good back-ups and have strong passwords to get into our computers so that our information is safe. I commented on my burglaries above. The one thing the perps left in both cases? My external hard drive that I had tucked into a shelf in my closet. Because their only option with my computer was to wipe it, given a strong password, and all my stuff was backed up, once I got a new computer I went on as if nothing had happened (though I did change my passwords on the off chance they got some intel on me).

  • Reported robberies in DC, both with gun and without, are down more than 23 percent this year over last. Hopefully this will become a trend.

  • The only time I’ve ever been a victim of a crime was in Old Town Alexandria, where my wallet was stolen.

  • Back in the late 90s I lived in Dupont Circle and my car was broken into 6 times in about a 6-month period. Usually a window would be broken and all 4 doors and the trunk left wide open. It really made me furious…people wouldn’t even close the doors walking by, and then I’d have a dead battery on top of everything else. This was usually when parked in the 1700 blocks or P, Q, or R Streets NW. Around that time, there was an article about car break-ins in the Washington City Paper which stated the 1700 block of R St NW had more car break-ins reported than any block in the city. My car finally bit the dust when it got rear-ended by someone driving about 40mph while it was parked in the 1700 block of Q St NW. Ah, fun times.

    After that I had car break-ins (different car!) in Adams Morgan and Mt. Pleasant (one each). Since 2005 I have lived in Petworth and have had no problems ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Me too! My car was broken into twice when I lived at 17th & P in 1998 and again in 2003. I moved to Col Heights and had underground parking and still got broken into. In 2011 I moved to Petworth and it’s been bliss.

  • 2010, H St. NE–Around 3 pm, physically accosted by deranged man threatening to “put a bullet in my head.” Gave him a hard shove, and he turned away. Called the cops, but they didn’t much care.

    2011, Hill East, near Safeway–Around 7 pm (but dark), violent mugging by two “youths.” They weren’t armed, but punched me a few times in the back of the head. Gave up my wallet and busted one of the little shit’s lip pretty good. Cops on the scene pronto, but no results.

    2012, on the metro–Fiancee’s iPhone stolen out of her hands while riding a train. Perp ran away at next stop.

    All the time, Hill East–Shit stolen of my porch. So much that I don’t have anything sent to my home anymore and use my office instead.

  • Package Theft- I live in an apartment building in Capitol Hill, usually have no problems receiving packages during the workday because we have a super in the building that usually lets UPS or Fedex in, and USPS has a key to the building. On my birthday this year I had 3 packages stolen that were left on the front stoop of my building by UPS. The super was out of town that week.

    I came home to three empty boxes, which were all presents from my family. I did file a police report, but no one was caught. I also searches saved on ebay, craigslists, etc looking for the items that were stolen, but nothing has turned up yet! I’ve definitely learned my lesson, now I get everything sent to work. Not worth the risk!

  • Oh, almost forgot this one. I was walking my dog later in the evening one night (maybe 11 PM) when I passed some guys on the street. They seemed friendly enough, and we exchanged “hi’s.” As my dog distracted me by doing his business, one of them ran up, unzipped, and pissed on my leg! I was so shocked that all I could do was emit a weak “WTF” (except I used the full words). He chuckled and ran off. The police who responded could barely contain their incredulity until I asked them to touch my wet pant leg, because I had evidence of the assault festering on the leg of my jeans (which I was carefully holding away from my skin). One of them tried to imply that my dog was the culprit, but I again pointed to the wet spot and said “my dog is 12″ to the shoulder, and this wet spot starts more than 2 feet up my leg…if my dog did that I’d MARKET it as a sideshow act!” They then took the report, which actually was classified as a sexual assault, but they honestly didn’t seem very interested in it. An unfortunate black mark against a police force I’ve generally found to be pretty responsive and sympathetic.

  • 1. Bike stolen
    2. Attempted house break-in which police declined to write up
    3. Actual house break in which police wrote up as destruction of property

  • Never. I’ve lived here since late ’99.

  • June 2013; afternoon on Sherman by Blind Dog: Can of paint thrown at my from passing car while occupants yelled “f*ggot!” Can stayed closed but hurt like a b*tch! I started to run for the car but they sped off so I recreated the scene from School Ties and yelled “COWAAAAAAAAARDS!” and then went and had a margarita.

    LAST NIGHT: Witnessed someone attempting to break into my neighbor’s car at 1am. Called 911, they said police were on their way. Police never showed up.

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