“I am just frustrated that there seems to be no communication regarding the need to be a little more vigilant”

“Dear PoPville,

Tuesday around 6:30p in the area of New Jersey, First St. SE and I St. SE, a young, African-American female with a mask attempted to rob two females. I know one of the victims was asked for her phone (she had it out), but she wouldn’t give it up. MPD caught the robber under the 395 overpass (the bridge on New Jersey Ave). I learned of this information as my boyfriend (who also lives nearby) works on New Jersey and watched one of the robberies. He’s also friendly with the local police, who informed him that the woman was captured. I confirmed it on MPD’s twitter feed.

I understand this is a low level crime with a good outcome, but my frustration comes from the fact that we often have robberies or worse. My boyfriend was assaulted outside of the Nats Park entrance around 4pm one Monday afternoon a few months ago, when a group of males decided to try and play “knock-out” (because there was no Nats game that day, so no people in that area (this is outside of the Bullpen, before the Navy Yard metro)). My boyfriend called 911 (the police station is a 1/4 mi away) and after putting him on hold and then asking him repeatedly where he was, they told him to stand on the corner of M and Half St. He waited 20 min and they never came. A local police officer, when he heard of what happened, said that he wasn’t surprised as groups had been trying to play knock out in our area for weeks. We’ve had multiple robberies in the garages of the Bozzuto buildings (909 New Jersey, 100 Capitol Yards, 70 Capitol Yards) – one day (a few months ago) when another robbery occurred, I tried to post on the Community Web Board to alert the residents. Bozzuto reviews every potential post, and they refused to post mine (yet I get multiple emails a day from residents asking me to babysit their dog).

I lived in Eastern Market prior to moving down to Navy Yard, so I’m not surprised that there’s local crime, nor am I saying that the issues in Navy Yard are greater than another area. I am just frustrated that there seems to be no communication regarding the need to be a little more vigilant.”

47 Comment

  • Fits in perfectly with MPD’s motto: Zero tolerance (for writing reports that might accurately demonstrate DC’s increasing crime problem under “Chief” Cathy Lanier).

  • Muggings happen in big cities. Take the necessary precautions and use common sense. That’s all you can do, it’s how it’s always been and always will be.

    • Sorry – That’s just stupid. I’m all for street smarts and common sense, but if you assume it’ll never get better, that’s a terrible way to live as a resident in a major city. We should be demanding better from our neighbors, police, politicians, ect.

      • Demand better from the people who can execute those changes, sure, but what does a blog article have to do with that? Are we supposed to be outraged that an attempted mugging happened in a transitioning part of DC? Crime will always be a part of living in a large city, you call it stupid but I think it’s ridiculously naive to think otherwise.

    • Blame the victim, eh? Classy.

      • Nope, I’ve been the victim and it sucks. Common sense and better awareness of my surroundings would have prevented it. And of course even that will never prevent ALL such crimes.

        I just don’t get the purpose of this person’s letter, no communication about what…crimes happening in the city? Who is oblivious enough to be unaware that these things happening?

      • There’s a difference between blaming the victim and giving common sense advice.

        • +1000000000000 I’d like to start a movement where people are banned from calling something “victim blaming” when they have no idea what the concept even means.

  • Interesting that Bozzuto censored your warning. While community boards should serve as great ways to communicate among many, Bozzuto also has an incentive to downplay incidents of crime. Even the perception of an uptick or their inability to address it effectively can affect their bottom line, and they know that.
    It would be a huge hassle to start, but perhaps consider an independent message board (could be done through FB or some other site). Residents in my building are planning to have a social in our lobby so that tenants can speak freely with each other about the problems going on in our building (i.e., maintenance issues, management). We could never trust or count on management itself to allow a truly free flow of information- believe me, they probably would prefer that we not talk to each other and compare notes on what is going on! This is why we’re talking about sharing information in a more deliberate manner among ourselves. Information really is power.

  • I am very surprised by this. Maybe we were just lucky, but my fiancee and I lived in Navy Yard (Onyx on First) for a year and didn’t have one single problem. The only thing you can do is be aware and call the police when things happen.

  • No communication about the need to be vigilant? That’s all MPD does! No arrests for property crime, no chance they’ll chase down the kid who snatched your iPhone, no interest in the multiple hate crimes… Nothing but “Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t display your electronics. Have your packages delivered to your office. Avoid walking alone at night.”
    That said, I find it appalling that Bozzuto refused to post a valid community safety notice.

    • I live in 909 and I’ve never heard of a burglary in the garage (or in 70/100)! That’s worrisome. As far as I can tell people aren’t very active on the Bozzuto community message boards, or maybe Bozzuto is censoring a lot of messages.

  • I though the knockout game was a myth.

  • Don’t most PSAs have monthly meetings? I would strongly find out and go. You may not make it regular but there is likely someone there who will know of whatever “connecting” mechanisms there are- Listservs, Twitter, etc. That is how some of this information is transmitted.

    • Don’t be surprised if your message doesn’t make it onto the MPD listserv. I and at least two other people that I know have had email not posted. They won’t tell you why not either.

  • The MPD text message alerts notified subscribers of both the robberies and the arrest.

  • The city is partly to blame for this kind of issue. That area of Navy Yard is all brand new construction, but has no street life. They did nothing to require streetfront retail so the streets are empty canyons for much of the day. There is a lot of money in young, naive hands sitting in those apartments, and yet a nearly blighted feeling on the streets. It invites crime.

  • Is there another neighborhood website/listserv that tenants use in addition to the Buzzuto moderated site?

  • problem might get worse. The City is still on the hook to build back 400 units of public housing in the CAp Quarters/Canal Park blocks. I think that will break ground in another year or so.

    • Right. Because the “problem” is about letting the people who lived there before their neighborhood was bulldozed return where they were promised a place would be done years ago.

      • Did not say people moving back in are the problem, but the crime problem might get worse when they move back in. If you dispute the problem would not get worse when former neighbors move back in, then please focus on your reasoning for that.

      • How did people let “their” neighborhood be leveled? Probably because it wasn’t theirs.

  • Force your resident bureaucrats to give you back the right to conceal carry. When bad guys have to worry about there being a 1/3 chance that you fight back when attacked, they start to reconsider whether your cell phone is worth it. I live in Texas, in a bigger city than DC (near the CBD), and I literally don’t know a single person that has been mugged here. Muggings don’t have to be the way it “will always be”…

    • jim_ed

      Weird! I live in DC, and I don’t know anyone who’s been mugged in this city. However, I do know someone who’s father was murdered during a robbery on the downtown streets of a large Texas city. Funny how our tiny worldviews are polar opposites of each other, as if single outlooks don’t matter in the grand scheme of city safety.

      See how worthless your anecdotal evidence is to the conversation? But Good Job, Good Effort trying to make a tired, cliche argument for concealed carry.

      • You are right. Because you know someone that died in a robbery in Texas, nobody in DC should have the right to defend themselves. See how worthless your evidence is to the conversation?

        • Considering your claim of never having met anyone in Texas who has been robbed and attributing that to the prevalence of concealed weapons, I’d say it’s a very worthwhile addition to the conversation.

        • Now that we’ve established personal experience and anecdotal evidence should not be used when establishing city policy, can we now look at actual data? Oh look, it says you’re wrong.

    • I know it suits your world view to think about it but that isn’t necessarily how it works in the real world. I am not as confident as you are that the people who commit robberies make that sort of calculation. That may be a calculation you would make should you take up a life of crime, but I don’t think you should presume that your reasoning is theirs. What is more likely to happen is that the mugger gets the drop on someone with a weapon long before the victim knows they are going to be a victim and either ends up dead or robbed of wallet, phone, and weapon.

      Also, I have lived in DC since 1994 and thankfully (knock on wood), have not been mugged. Since I don’t own a weapon I guess I can’t attribute that to the magical shielding properties of a weapon.

    • You’re right. Criminals won’t rob someone if they think the person has a gun:

      • Your example article has an open carry guy getting robbed by a concealed carry guy, who was likely carrying illegally. Maybe this is advocating for concealed carry vs open carry?

    • Riiiight. And the numbers of muggings in D.C. versus in this unnamed Texas big city have nothing to do with the fact that in big Texas cities, you have to drive just about everywhere and are rarely on foot?

  • A little more vigilant??? I’d say we need more communication about why petty yet violent/dangerous juvenile crime seems to be tolerated by the City.

  • These are the popville posts that just make me shake my head in a mixture of shock and disappointment.

    Why is it ways up to someone else to tell you to be vigilant? You obviously read blogs, probably keep up with the news, but you are shocked about crime in the city, and even more shocked that someone doesn’t mail you a flier every time some crime happens.

    Your constant need to be told to be vigilant whe walking down a City street, is like an Eskimo needing to be told to be vigilant about wearing a warm coat.

    I am no fan of MPD, but DC 911 gets more than 5000 calls per day, MPD is tasked to respond to more than 3000 of those every day, do you expect MPD to email or call you about every one? Take some personal responsibility folks. You should ALWAYS be vigilant, 24/7, wether you are in DC or Mayberry. I really worry about some of you and you have to be constantly reminded of such things.

    • I think you missed where it says, “I’m not surprised there’s local crime”? This isn’t about a lack of awareness – it’s more about how there are robberies, etc. happening – within residents’ homes – and yet their building management doesn’t seem to want to alert residents to anything happening IN THEIR OWN HOME.

  • The property owner cannot interfere with your right to post information if it is relevant to organizing a tenants’ association. If you want to use that as a vehicle for warning people about the crime in the area, you should be able to force the owners to allow you to post: http://ota.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ota/publication/attachments/Tenant_Survival_Guide.pdf.

    • +1. From my perspective, this is the only helpful piece of feedback on this entire thread. Shaking my head at all this silly squabbling.

  • I can tell you that, we, long-term neighbors on the Southwest Waterfront, predicted this phenomenon.

    As the Yards was developed, Diane Groomes was replaced as 1D Commander — response digressed.

    From one 1D officer: “Commander Groomes was too much for the constituent.”

    See it; report it; document it.

  • The call for action is rightly deserved, but we need to be realistic. People need to get more involved in the community. The victims of these crimes are usually transients who live in DC but aren’t invested. They may have a house or a condo and spend some money here, but that’s where the input ends. We can’t expect community leaders to help out a group that doesn’t show it’s face outside of retail, restaurants and recreational events. Go to community meetings. Vote in the elections. Mentor some kids. Invest more than money and you will see how things can change.

  • I will agree with prior commenters. MPD under reports as a course of business. That being said I think you need to look at Potomac Garden and Hopkins as source of perps. I walk the dog late and if I had a dollar for overhearing kids saying “imma go to eastern market” or “to the stadium to make some money” as they pulled up a hoodie, I could pay my mortgage. If you have photos/descriptions go to 1d and make sure beat and bike cops have the descriptions.

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