From the Forum – Car Break-in on 11th and U


Car Break-in on 11th and U:

“Just wondering if anyone has noticed increased car break-ins in the area? I have some video footage from the cameras that were on the house my car was parked in front of, and I’m wondering if it might be helpful. Around 2am on 11/14 my window was smashed and my computer was stolen (I know, I know, it shouldn’t have been in there, but I will say, it was NOT visible.. on the floor under a pile of gradebooks. Lucky thief). Any leads would be appreciated.”

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21 Comment

  • Why anyone leaves anything visible in the car is beyond me… People always saying it was just a bag, it was just a sweater, etc., but how does the thief know if it’s just a bag of junk or if there’s something valuable inside? Or if it’s a pile of papers or if there’s a laptop under there? If you really have to leave something in the car, push it under the seats or throw it in the trunk. It’s just not worth getting your window broken over!

    • So so true….thieves are quick. They don’t scope out what they’re looking for. They see something in a car, they’re going to smash and grab. If it’s nothing…they toss it in an alley close by, otherwise…yeah…you’re an idiot.

    • +100
      OP shouldn’t be leaving grade books either. Thief broke in because he thought something valuable might be under those books (he was right!)
      My brother (visiting from NC) was shocked when I made him remove EVERYTHING that could have possibly been within sight. No iPhone cables, no GPS power cords, no empty cigarette boxes, no change in the cup holder – those are all enticements to break-in and try to find something more valuable.

  • gotryit

    I like the trend of more cameras… hello little brother.

  • Yeah, sure. I’ll, uh, just check with the boys down at the crime lab. They got four more detectives working on the case. They got us working in shifts. Leads!?

  • I would actually say that the number of car break ins has dropped in this area over the last year. Obviously thats not scientific. Last fall you couldnt walk around the 11th st area with out passing broken glass every 2-3 blocks, now it seems to be rarer.

    That said, I have had my car broken into twice over the years, both times with nothing visible and nothing being stolen. So while I agree with the comments about leaving nothing showing, it doesnt always help.

  • Lived here for seven years. Always been loads of car break ins. Just keep an out for the broken window glass. If anything, they’ve been down the last couple years.

  • This morning on T St just off of 14th there was an SUV with the window smashed and the contents of the car, including the box for a Macbook air, strewn down the sidewalk. Not sure if the computer was in the box but leaving a Macbook box in your car? You might as well leave the car unlocked and windows down and save yourself at least the cost of replacing your window.

  • I used to live right on 11th (up near Cardozo) and had my car broken into once because I had left an empty iPhone bumper case (literally, it looks like an elastic loop) out on my car seat. The only thing that was taken was the leatherette envelope with my registration in it, and apparently my manual.

    The envelope looked enough like a cash envelope I guess, but they didn’t even take the phone case or the iPhone cord that was in the console that they ransacked.

    I called the cops and despite being parked near the elementary school and Cardozo, none of the cameras are pointed in the right direction, so I was SOL on that one.

    The thing that pissed me off was that they had ripped off a chunk of brick wall (about 4-6 bricks still mortared together) and BOUNCED it off of my car door into the window, so not only did I have to replace my window, I had to get my door dent removed/top half replaced. What made me madder was that when the cop came by, he just took the giant mass of brick and left it on the grass next to the curb so the next unsuspecting parker could have their windows bashed in! Brilliant! I took it with me and it’s now a garden ornament/reminder to not leave shit on the seats.

    Side note, when a car gets broken into right in front of your newly purchased house, please do not harass the girl talking to the police officer and attempt to interject “how often does this happen!? how long have you lived here!” over and over again. Guy literally ignored me asking him to “hold up I’ll talk to you in a second” to continue to pepper me with questions. If you’re politely asked to wait and then pointedly ignored, shut up, you’re obnoxious.

  • There are break-ins on 15th St between Girard and Irving almost weekly!!!

  • I live near 11th & M, and my sister lives a block over on 12th. She often parks on 11th, and has nothing in her car. Even after taking all safety precautions and an empty car, she had her window smashed in twice and her car ransacked. The thieves obviously didn’t take anything as there was nothing to take, but they caused thousands of dollars in damage not only with broken windows but an attempt to steal the car destroyed the steering column. This is a serious problem in our area. The officer taking the report said there have been numerous break-ins, mostly by homeless folks who don’t even bother to check the contents of the vehicles. So even being smart about city living cannot stop unfortunate incidents from happening. Chastising those who leave a few books or ANYTHING in their vehicles doesn’t help the situation – be vigilant when you’re out and walking your dog or whatever you may be doing and if you see something, say something. Call the cops and do the right thing. And FYI, if you own property and have a tree out front – trail cams run around $60 bucks and might be a helpful deterrent or help catch these criminals.

    • “Chastising those who leave a few books or ANYTHING in their vehicles doesn’t help the situation” — well, if it reminds people not to leave anything visible in their vehicles, then that helps.
      You can’t do much about break-ins that take place despite nothing whatsoever being visible. But you CAN remind people that leaving something in a car that LOOKS like it could potentially have something valuable in/under it — a gym bag, a stack of gradebooks, a backpack, whatever — is not a good idea.
      Same with “But I left my purse/laptop/whatever in my car for only a few minutes!” Just a few minutes is all it takes.

      • Agree! And if people keep leaving Macbook Airs in cars, cars will continually be broken into – we HAVE to chastise people to stop this cycle of crime.

  • I lived in Petworth for years with no break ins. Moved down by U St. and had my car broken into within 2 weeks at 13th and T. All I had visible was junk (literally – empty water bottles, magazines), but it was enough to entice them and sure enough they got more valuable stuff from my trunk. Lesson is, It is not worth it to leave ANYTHING visible, not even a phone charger.

  • I live on 9th & T Sts and saw car break-ins three nights in a row last week. One in the alley between 9th & 8th on Monday, the second on T Street between 8th & 9th on Tuesday, and the third on Wednesday on 9th between S &T Sts. So yes, I think they’re on the rise. I spoke to the owners of both cars on 9th and T and both had visible belongings in their cars that were rummaged through or stolen. The third car was a cab and the driver said there was nothing valuable to take but the credit card machine.

  • I will say, a few weeks ago, I had noticed several different spots on/around 8th and T where car windows had been smashed all on the same weekend. I have also started to worry about this becoming an epidemic. I have only lived in the area for a few months, but this is the first time that I have seen multiple break-ins.

  • There is a way to prevent this – when I lived in NYC in the 90s and had my window broken (the little triangular one behind the back window), I didn’t want to pay to keep replacing it, so for many years I left it repaired with a piece of thick cardboard and duct tape. The car would get broken into and rifled every so often, probably quire frequently, though I never left anything in it. I only had to replace the cardboard and tape every few years. That worked until I moved to an area where window breakins had largely ceased, and then I finally replaced the window and it was fine then.

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