40 Comment

  • I swear this isnt meant to be victim blaming but how long do people have to live in the City before they learn NOT to leave valuable shit in their car?

    • I know, right?? Given that the same half million people live here today that lived here 10 years ago, and no one new has arrived from other places…. you’d think that every one of those same half million people would have gotten the message by now!

      • I don’t think the rule of don’t leave things in your car you don’t want stolen is particular to DC. Or cities.

      • Yes, actually you would think that. It’s common sense, it’s Car Ownership 101, and it’s City Living 101. You just don’t leave valuable stuff in your car, period.

        • Yea this is def something specific to DC. Utopians considered yourself on notice. Any packages and especially electronics WILL be taken and a smashed window is the usual story. I’ve had my car broken into for the change in my console.

          • Haven’t traveled much have you? No way is this specific to DC. In many countries taxi drivers won’t even let you have a small bag inside the cab with you for fear of break-in at a red light!

          • Also, my niece’s car in suburban Worcester MA just had all 4 wheels stolen off it overnight. An ordinary old Honda.

          • Which Worcester suburb? Grafton, Leicester/Cherry Valley, Millbury…not surprising. Paxton or Holden…that would be shocking.

        • Nope. It wasn’t a thing in Oakland. It wasn’t a thing in Philly. And it definitely isn’t a thing in the thousands of smaller cities and towns people might be coming from, in droves, weekly. Cut the newcomers some slack. Bet they don’t make the same mistake twice.

          • Disagree. It was in fact a thing in Philly. Just because it didn’t happen to you does not mean it doesn’t happen. Sister’s car was broken into for change in the console. Friend’s car was broken into for a hockey bag. I think it happens everywhere but frequencies of occurrence depend on population size, value of the item and of course desperation of the robber. I don’t leave anything in site in my car but my car was broken into in August because of the the ring on my dash from my GPS (it was in the glove box). Apparently, 5 year old GPS units are of value in South America. At least, that is what the cop told me.

          • I grew up in a small town in rural Virginia and even I knew then that you didn’t leave expensive things in your car.

            I also had my car broken into in college (not in DC or in a city) and the dash CD player (yes back in the 90s) stolen. Even then I was smart enough to know not to leave my CDs in the car.

            Stop excusing this.

          • Nonsense. Based on recent stats (you can look ’em up yourself), Oakland’s theft-from-auto rates have been slightly higher than DC’s. So, as dophie pointed out, just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Put another way, your limited experience has no bearing on whether something is a “thing” or not.

          • With the stratospheric rise of meth and opiate addictions in small towns across the US (especially in the rural Northeast), even those places are no longer immune from this type of crime. People who kept their doors and cars unlocked 10 years ago no longer do that.
            I’d say that the average person moving to DC from elsewhere happens to be more navel gaze’y and less street smart than the average citizen. When you go to NYC, you know to leave NOTHING in your car.

          • At my condo building in Oakland, the communal garage got broken into and about a dozen cars broken into in one night.

          • not a thing in OAKLAND?! LOL!! I left a backpack in the back seat of my car for 5 minutes in san francisco (broad daylight, busy seat) and someone busted my window and took it.

          • Not a thing in Oakland? LOL. You’re kidding right? After hearing story after story growing up abut friends and family having car windows busted, I sure as heck never left anything in my car once I started driving.

            My mom lives in the neighborhood with the lowest crime rate in the city, and you see busted car windows on a regular basis.

    • My hometown is so small and safe that no one locks their houses or cars, let alone worries about leaving something in a car. I don’t think I realized about not leaving anything in your car until I started to read this blog (also because I don’t have a car here so I never really thought about it).

      • I had a car when living in Arlington and working in Tyson’s (before I discovered PoPville) and I never thought that leaving empty bags or anything non-important was an issue. I always took my purse and GPS in and that sort of thing, but didn’t realize that people would break in for pretty much anything. It was only after I gave the car back to my family and moved back into the city that that I discovered PoPville and read about it. Fortunately I avoided ever coming into the city and nothing happened, haha.

        • Your point is irrelevant considering that the OP here left a laptop in the car. I think by your own logic, you know better than that.

      • Holcomb Kansas was a small safe town too until “In Cold Blood” happened.

    • We never leave anything valuable – or really anything – in our car except a car seat. We’ve still had a window broken. And I’ve lived here more than 10 years.

    • Or the very least back up their important data!

      Insurance can replace a stolen laptop but not the info on it.

    • burritosinstereo

      “I sear this isn’t mean tot be victim blaming but I’m gonna go ahead and blame the victim”

    • I don’t even leave a gum wrapper in my car for fear some piece of shit will break my windows to steal it. I try to put a positive spin on it, though. This is the cleanest the interior of my car has been in the entire 20 years I’ve owned it.

  • alphatango

    Good sense of humor. No common sense. Time and time again people just don’t get it. Don’t leave anything in your car. Period. In sight. Out of sight. Doesn’t matter.

  • Yeah I have to agree with the other commenters here. While I typically hate victim blaming and think MPD could do a lot more to discourage petty crime, leaving a laptop in the back of your care is a terrible, terrible idea. The reason people keep breaking into cars is they occasionally have a smashing (pun intended) success like this. If nobody left things in their cars I suspect this type of crime would decrease substantially.

    • Agreed — actually, it would be best if no one left their laptops anywhere. I’ve heard people who’ve left them unattended for a solid half hour in coffee shops/classrooms/etc. and then wonder why they’re not there when they get back. It only takes a second, everyone! Just bring your expensive crap with you!

  • No longer lifetime, unfortunately. Just one year. they changed it a year or two back…http://www.rei.com/help/guarantee.html

  • MtPCarAlarmGuy

    To the note writer: I like your note. So sorry. What a terrible way to learn this lesson. I hope the research isn’t a total loss.
    To the victim blamers: Sure, naïvety is in part to blamer here, but so are our city’s jaded bystanders, dysfunctional educational institutions, sub-par social services, distant police, and failing community institutions that operate with your tax dollars and consent. This is your city too, we have some owning up to do. Let’s start by admitting that the job of keeping people from throwing rocks is everyone’s responsibility.

    • The “victim blamers” aren’t saying the car owner did anything to encourage some a-hole to throw a rock through the car window. We are “blaming” the car owner for leaving things he/she cared about in his/her car. That’s just plain stupid.

    • “Let’s start by admitting that the job of keeping people from throwing rocks is everyone’s responsibility.”
      Say what?

  • It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off.

  • I’ve had my car broken into a couple times, now I’m so paranoid that when I left my notebook from class out in the open, I got out of bed and went and got it. I don’t think they’d steal the notebook, but i think it’s the idea that if the person leaves stuff out, who knows what else might be in the car.

  • I drive a scooter. It has no windows. Problem solved. (only, sometimes the whole thing gets stolen!)

    • +1
      Fortunately, no one has stolen it. But in 3.5 years of owning it in DC, it’s been knocked over by kids at least 6 times while, attempted to steal it twice (cuts in the cable lock), the seat was slashed with a knife, and someone ruined my ignition keyhole by trying to jam a screwdriver into it.
      I’ll never upgrade to a nice new Vespa; I know it wouldn’t last a week before someone messed with it.

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