A Reminder to Not Walk while Reading Your Kindle Fire at 1am

I seriously don’t mean to be flippant nor am I trying to start a blame the victim post here. However, I do think it’s important to remind some folks that it is not a good idea to walk around late at night with phones, ipads, kindles or other electronic devices out. You are distracted and a target and MPD continually tells us thieves are looking for this. I’m not suggesting people be terrified and cower in their homes but it is important to not get complacent and exercise street smarts as well.

From MPD:

“At approximately 12:55 a.m. [Saturday], a citizen was walking in the 1400 Block of Maryland Avenue, NE with his Kindle Fire in his hand. He was approached by 3 black males who struck him in his head and robbed him of his Kindle Fire. The citizen was treated by medics on the scene and no arrest have been made at this time.

S1 was described as a black male in his early 20’s 5’8-5’9 in height. S1 had dreadlocks and was wearing a hat and blue jeans.

S2 was described as a black male in his early 20’s 5’8-5’9 in height. S2 was wearing a Holly Hanson Jacket

S3 was described as a black male in his early 20’s 5’8-5’9 in height. S3 was wearing a T-shirt and sweat pants.

The First District Detective’s Office will be investigating this case.”

41 Comment

  • I dont disagree with you at all. Its not smart to walk while reading a kindle or on your iPhone at night. However, DC police do in fact have a culture of blaming the victim. Its been my personal experience that its never the polices fault that crime happens. Its always that the victim should have done this or done that. I realize that policing is not easy, but I’ve lived in big cities my entire life and have never seen anything like DC police. Maybe its only District 4 where I live… Just don’t know.

    • Agree. When my roommate and I were burglarized the police insisted we must have had a stash of drugs in the house, and seemed more interested in turning us into criminals than finding the real criminals. It was a demoralizing experience that would make me reluctant to report a crime again.

  • Probably not a good idea to stand still with your Kindle Fire out at 1 a.m. either. 😉

  • brookland_rez

    The police can’t be everywhere all the time. Proactive measures like not having expensive electronics out at 1am and being aware of your surroundings go a long way towards you not becoming a victim of crime. Criminals look for the easy targets. You have to make sure you don’t stand out as one.

  • Not to add fuel to the fire*, and I too hate the thought of blaming the victim, but seriously! 14th and Maryland NE can feel unsafe at 4 PM, while paying attention. 1 AM and reading while walking? Yea, ok.

  • I walk around with my old phone and a wallet that has a few dollars in it but nothing else. This way I can give the SOB’s something, without giving up my real phone and wallet with money, cards, etc. I haven’t been in a situation where I’ve needed to deploy these tactics, so I don’t know if they would actually work, but I’ll do anything to thwart the animals that roam our city’s streets.

    • You do the whole “decoy phone and wallet” as well!!

    • austindc

      I do not have room for a decoy wallet because I have massive thighs and an ample rear, but I put a bunch of bills from all the cool countries I have been to in my wallet. Then if it gets stolen, the thief will at least know that I have an awesome life.

    • Oh Richard… What are you so afraid of? You haven’t even been a victim of crime, yet you walk around hoping to avoid the “SOB’s” and the “animals.” Please tell me, who are the “SOB’s” and the “animals?” You could have easily replaced “animals” with “criminals” and your statement would have been fine.

      • “Please tell me, who are the ‘SOB’s’ and the ‘animals?'”

        Obviously, anyone who roams the streets (especially in packs) violently preying on innocent citizens is an “SOB” and an “animal”. And that’s being polite about it.

        • I don’t think most people become criminals for the heck of it. This isn’t some rich kids doing this for fun. Some other poster suggested that being white in these parts is difficult and more gentrification is the solution. Some of the comments here are bordering on racism.

      • I’m not afraid at all, just have a healthy wariness of city life. I’ve lived in cities all of my life and through various activities have become familiar with the criminal element and their mindset.

        I haven’t been a victim of crime out by a combination of (1) luck (which I call God’s grace) and (2) following instructions about how to be a victim (being aware of surroundings, walking with a sense of purpose, choosing my routes carefully). But that by no means immunizes me from being a crime victim potentially at any time. I don’t live in fear (for anyone that might get the Kurosawa reference), but I do accept the reality of life and try to minimize the harms.

    • Wish I could do this, but I haven’t figured out how to carry a decoy purse. Or how to fit one, let alone two, wallet and phone in women’s jeans’ pockets.

  • It’s not a culture of blaming the victim. If the police suspected every group of black males as robbers they’d be under further scrutiny. The police force has its issues but it can’t be expected to be everywhere at once. The fact is that there are criminals out there, and you must do your best to stay vigilant and reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Hopefully the police can do their job and catch the robbers, although that is unlikely.

    On a sidenote, to emphasize the lowlifes that the police and citizens have to deal with, one of the robbers had on a $300+ Helly Hanson jacket and still feels the need to steal a Kindle Fire. Unfortunately, these people need to be caught in the act.

    • Those muggers were probably pissed when they realized it was a Kindle and not an iPad.

    • *Must look up the Helly Hensan brand*

    • You can buy lower-end Helly Hanson jackets at Marshall’s or Nordstrom Rack for $50-100.

    • ” If the police suspected every group of black males as robbers they’d be under further scrutiny. ”

      And yet you somehow seem not to recognize how such a procedure would be (1) fruitless as a crime control measure (2) racist (and therefore deserving of scrutiny).

      The vast majority of the black males in this city, like the vast majority of every group in this city (except lobbyists), are generally law abiding (the last parenthetical was a joke).

  • west_egg

    Related: Talking to someone on the phone while walking down a dark street does not make you safer. In fact, it makes you a target. Say you get a gun in your face from someone looking to rob you — what’s the person on the other end of the line supposed to do from their living room in Omaha?

  • You’d need to have awfully little self awareness to do that in that neighborhood at 1am.

  • Probably not a good idea to walk and read the Kindle at any time. Better to be aware of the surroundings (including potential thieves, cars, bikes, other pedestrians).

  • If this were another type of crime, this headline would be consider by some to be “victim shaming.” Which apparently means you have zero control over your own life. Remember everyone, you are not responsible for anything.

    • You’re trolling, but there’s a difference between walking while female and walking with a Kindle out. Just like there is a difference in the motivations underlying those crimes.

      • I am trolling. But If I have an option between walking in a dangerous area, alone, late night where potential assailants can have 50-70lbs on me (and I assume bad intentioned) or taking a safer but longer (negligably more expensive) route….I’m taking the longer route. Is that fair? No. Might I have a responsibility (deserve some blame) for putting myself at increased risk? Well, not according to today’s society.

        Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is not victim shaming, it’s good common sense. (and yes even despite this planning, people can still be victims. Still, people have rights AND responsibilities.)

  • I think there’s a decent chance he would have been robbed regardless … most would-be victims have smartphones these days and so I think if it weren’t a kindle then it would have been something else. That’s just the nature of living here …. even though so much has changed for the better, we are complacent (to use a word from the OP) with attempting to make ourselves look less like victims (even though most any white person or anyone else who doesn’t seem familiar risks becoming a victim) rather than rooting out the sources of crime through better police engagement and enforcement. My assumption is that absent this, only the continued gentrification of the neighborhoods in the area will remove the criminals here.

    • The italicized wording, including “[I]t it is important to not get complacent,” is an editorial comment from the Prince, not from the OP.

  • I wonder if Holly is Helly’s sister?

  • This remains a very dangerous area, one of the few that I go out of my way to avoid at later hours. Lots of bad stuff has happened here over the past few years– robberies, shootings, stabbings, you name it. It will get better as the new apartments are finished on Maryland and 14th, but I still wouldn’t be caught walking west from that intersection down G Street after 10 pm.

    • brookland_rez

      The Pentacle apartments are the biggest blight on that area.

      • OK. So if this is a problem area then why don’t the cops increase presence? Thats my biggest complaint. We all know the trouble areas so why not park a cop car there along with increased patrols (car, bike, foot) and then maybe catch some of these people in the act? At least act as a deterrent.

        • They probably claim that they don’t have the “resources” ($$). Funny how there always seem to be adequate resources to handle things in the wealthier D.C. neighborhoods.

        • Good question. I think they should have the lights on that intersection every weekend.

  • this is why I carry a subcompact Beretta at all times. to pop one in a thugs ass! Just kidding… I wish though

  • Of course I’m sorry for the mugging, but as a writer, I love the idea that the guy was so engrossed in a book on his Kindle that he couldn’t put it down.

  • Why does everyone assume the guy was *reading* his Kindle? The police said he was carrying it in his hand. If the guy doesn’t use a bag, how else would he transport the thing? I have a friend that simply carries his Nook tablet around in his hand. But he doesn’t walk around outside while reading. Sheesh.

    • Good point.

      Although buying a bag is a good safety tip as well, you want to conceal any valuables if you’re walking around at 1 AM

      Old timers in these neighborhoods tend to walk between parked cars and the travel lane (i.e. where joggers would usually run). I guess the thinking is that if someone jumps you, drivers will call the cops because, well, you’d be tussling in the middle of the street, Versus a sidewalk, where you’d get jumped and drivers might not even notice as they pass by

  • Don’t apologize POP. Lack of common sense will increase your risk of being a victim to a crime. That fact is plain. To suggest that people be aware of their surroundings DOES NOT mean the crime is their fault. It does mean that we can expect people to be responsible for their own well being to a point.

Comments are closed.