“Beware – bike riding cellphone snatcher at large in Columbia Heights”

“Dear PoPville,

I was walking home around midnight last night, headed south on the west side of 14th Street, in the northern part of Columbia Heights. On the block between Oak and Meridian, a bike whizzed by me, and the guy snatched my phone right out of my hands, and veered down Meridian Place. I didn’t get a good look at the guy or his bike, unfortunately. I’m hoping that the police can get footage from nearby cameras. I know I should have been more careful and not had my cellphone out while walking. I’ve lived in Columbia Heights since 2003, and this is the first time something of this nature has happened to me.”

10 Comment

  • I’m sorry this happened to you, but this is no different from the metro. If anything, it’s much easier. Maybe a quick lesson in glaring at our phones a little less each day, especially when in busy intersections…

  • Why do we always blame the victim? There are things we can do to protect ourselves and our belongings, but let’s not forget who the criminal is here. This tends to happen in DC a lot – in my experience. No matter the crime.

    • It’s more of a lesson for other potential victims. Listen, I don’t care where you are at midnight on a Tuesday, your head needs to be on a swivel and you need to have your situational awareness at a 10 and be prepared for fight or flight. Same rules apply, DC, NY, SF, Miami, LA, hell in a small town in WV.

    • Someone mentioned to me that those bike riding thieves hang around behind Pollo Mio in 14th st by the alley.

    • We can either lie to ourselves or take steps to improve our lives.

      I’m far from a safety nut, but at midnight walking up this street, put your phone away.

  • Be sure to call Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and share with her what happened. She needs to be aware that these things are happening to her constituents. Make sure you speak with her directly and not just one of her staffers.

    I too have lived in Columbia Heights since 2002. The uptick in crime, graffiti, and blight in the past 1-2 years is startling. I feel that the growth of H Street and other areas has turned off the spigot that was improving our neighborhood. I am hopeful that Brianne Nadeau has a plan (or is working on a plan) to improve business, safety, and other quality of life issues so that we don’t get left behind. I’m afraid she might be a one trick pony – affordable housing – and while that might get one elected, it doesn’t move the ball forward.

    • She ran completely on affordable housing and anti-Graham. She never talked about Columbia Heights economic growth or crime. Talked to her numerous times about these issues during campaign and nothing concrete was given. Afraid your hunch is probably right.

      -A nervous homeowner in CH worried about their property value.

  • MPD has a permanent surveillance camera right on 14th where this happened. It’s likely not functional though. Given that they allow blatant crack cocaine dealing to continue directly in view of it, I doubt you’ll get any help for a phone snatching.

  • This happened to me in 2012 right in front of the allegro. I/nor did the cops ever find the phone. They also did not look at any tapes as they think this is a minor crime.

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