“Burglarly in Mt. Pleasant Last Night While We Were Home Sleeping”

“Dear PoPville,

Last night, between the hours of 12am-7am my group house on Kilbourne Place in Mt. Pleasant was robbed while 6 of us slept upstairs. It’s incredibly scary to think that strangers were in our home. Myself and the police believe multiple people were involved just based on the amount of stuff they took. They took 3 bicycles and a 60inch television. I know that they needed at least 2 people to carry the television out of the house. The television is a 60 inch Sharp Aquos flat screen HDTV.

Two bike descriptions below:

1. Black KHS frame fixed gear, pink back wheel, 1 front break, black components, black seat with gold bar.

2. It was a red trek bike. Drop down handlebars. Aluminum frame. Old school with shifters on the frame, not on the handle bars. It was about a 51″-52″. White seat. The handlebars were wrapped in white tape. On the right handlebar the wrapping was untangled a little bit leaving a small loop. A black and yellow attachment for a bike lock was attached to it under the frame to the seat near the back wheel. Wheels were skinny and black. Paint job was cut up a bit on the frame. Both brakes on top were covered in a black rubber that was torn.

3. Teal (blue green) Men’s Diamondback Cross Campus Hybrid Bike. It had straight handle bars.

The police took prints and DNA evidence from the appropriate surfaces. I was shocked that they did so at all but due to the nature of the crime, a B1 robbery while we were home, they are treating it as more severe.

I’m writing so that you can inform the community to stay vigilant of their own homes and in case folks run across any of the stolen merchandise.”

47 Comment

  • This is a big fear of mine. How did they get in?

    • They had to climb our the back porch stairs, open a window, cut through the screen and then reach inside to unlock our back door which is secluded by an alley.

      Scary shit.

      • Was the window locked or unlocked?

        • Unlocked, unfortunately but barred.

          • Did they pry off the bars too? Or was the door close enough to the barred window that they could just stick a hand through the bars and turn the doorknob, even though they couldn’t actually get in via the window?

          • A similar thing happened to me a few years ago. They climbed over the backyard fence (it helped that the house next door was vacant), bent the bars with some kind of tool, and forced the window open. The house had an alarm system but we were renting and too cheap to pay for a landline/monitoring fee so it didn’t call the police. The only reason I wasn’t home is because I’d been creeped out by someone ringing the doorbell at 11pm and left to spend the night at my cousin’s (roommate was somewhere else that night).
            Now I insist on having window bars and an active alarm system wherever I live. The more barriers to entry the better!

          • If they are going to those lengths to get into the house, I doubt a locked window would get in their way. So don’t beat yourself up that it wasn’t locked.

            Glad to hear that you are all OK. Man, that would FREAK ME OUT! I had a steal door installed in the back of our house for this specific reason. It has two layers of bulletproof glass with steal bars all over it (they’re decorative) and the door opens outwards so a burglar can’t just kick it in. If anyone can get through the bars and glass and manages to pick the log, it triggers another lock that is impossible to pick.

          • I would recommend considering enhancing the house’s security posture beyond a simple alarm system and door/window upgrade.

          • Hey DC Resident, if you’re still reading this, can you please post a link to the door you bought? I’ve been looking for a door like that. Most of the ones at Home Depot have easily breakable or removable glass and the metal features are flimsy. More like storm doors than security doors. Thanks in advance!

  • Sorry to hear about the burglary.
    Were the police able to determine how the thieves got in (e.g., by forcing a door)?

  • This past Sunday night, at around 1:30 am (technically, Monday morning), a prowler came up to my window. I live just north of OP in Mt Pleasant. He took off when he realized someone was still awake in the house, but I got a good look at him and immediately called the cops with a description. There was a patrol car circling the neighborhood within 10 minutes.

    Keep all your windows and doors securely locked, which seems obvious in freezing temperatures. But the cold isn’t stopping the thieves.

  • That sucks. My wife and I had the same thing happen in Mt. P 15 years ago. Very unsettling. After we got broken into a second time (we weren’t there that time) my wife almost wanted to move.
    Do you have blinds on your windows? From the amount of stuff taken and the number of people it would have taken to pull off this job, it does not seem like a random event. My guess is that someone had looked into your windows and saw the stuff.

  • I have a coworker who lives in Mt. P and this happened to them a few weeks ago – middle of the night while they slept.

    Terrifying. Hope the cops catch these people soon.

  • Sorry to hear about this, my BFF lives in that exact block. I cross posted this to a group on Facebook that watches for stolen bicycles.

  • I highly recommend an alarm system. A lot of people are discouraged because many of the national companies have poor reputations, but you can get a whole system online for about 200$ and set up service for 10-20$ a month. You will typically get a discount on your home or renter’s insurance for this which makes up for some of the cost.

    • +1 We use SimpliSafe, which was inexpensive to set up, and gives us a lot of peace of mind.

      • I just looked this up. So you pick your package, order it online and then set it up yourself? No monthly fees?

        • ChenChen

          I use simplisafe too. You can do no monthly fees if you’d like; basically it would go off and hopefully scare off an intruder.

          but I use the 14.95 monthly package where it alerts Simpliesafe when an alarm is triggered and if I don’t deactivate or they cant reach me, they call the police for you.

          They dispatched the police for me once while I was in NYC and the alarm triggered. Not fool proof, but better than nothing 🙂

          • We recently installed a Scout system. Same idea – buy the parts online and do the monitoring yourself through an app. Save ongoing costs to essentially have a third party call in false alarms for you…

    • We recently moved into a house that was already wired for ADT, so we just kept them since it seemed easier. It’s $47/month, which I see from here is on the higher end. Does anyone else have ADT? Is that price about right? Any recommendations on which other company to go with, or is SimpliSafe a good option (I hadn’t heard of it before)? Thanks.

      • Same here. Ours is $38/month, so a little bit less than yours.
        Our realtor recommended another company when we bought the house, but when I called them it sounded like it would be a pain to get the ADT/Broadview system to work with their equipment.

      • I did some research hen I moved into the area and wound up going with Ackerman Security. They’re local-ish (only DC and Atlanta) and their monthly monitoring fee is $25, which was the cheapest I could find at the time. I’ve been happy with their service, although I’ll say I don’t have their mobile app, so not sure if that’s any good. I also felt like they were reasonable in recommending what kind of sensors I needed, not alarmist and sales-y like the ADT folks I talked to. It’s also cheaper if you have a phone line, but I don’t so have their wireless monitoring service. Definitely recommend checking them out.

      • Even if you have an existing ADT system if you’re off contract I cannot recommend a DIY system enough. Since the monthly fee is so low you make up the cost of the system in the first few months, plus you’re not on a contract.
        Do a little research to figure out what you will need and order a system off Amazon. Ours took about a half hour to set up. The service lets up remotely monitor sensor activity, check the camera, and arm/disarm the system on our smart phones or over the web. The sensors are all cellular based and will call the police unless deactivated in 30 seconds. This costs about 15$ a month. Service from ADT would definitely be over 50$/mo.
        ADT is such a scam. The installation is sub par and the service is terrible. I highly recommend switching to SimpliSafe or another similar system. We were initially intimidated by the setup, but it was really easy. If you decide to add more sensors or a camera later it’s much easier and cheaper than with ADT. And after talking to friends with ADT and other systems the “professionals” that set up the system don’t tell you much more than a 20 minute Google search.

      • ADT is expensive. I installed my own system, and use Alarm Relay for the monitoring. I paid about $350 for the system, and the monitoring is $185 a year ($125 plus an additional $60 for cell phone monitoring instead of landline). I bought the system from safemart, and installed it myself. It’s wireless, so it’s mainly a matter of screwing things to the wall. Alarm Relay helped me program and test it over the phone.

      • We have ADT and it’s right around $47/month too, so that sounds right. It seems reliable enough but I will probably at some point look for something with a lower monthly fee but better/more features, and preferably something I can install and upgrade myself. I hate having to sit around waiting for technicians to come to the house.

  • Any information about how they obtained entry?

  • Mount Pleasant suffers about 4 burglaries a month, generally in the row houses, and during the day, when no one is home. That’s about 4.6 per 1000 population per year. DC overall has about 4.8 burglaries per year per 1000 population. This isn’t Chevy Chase, but it’s not a high-crime area, either.

    In our 40 years here, we’ve had a couple of thefts, but never a burglary. Our security system probably has something to do with that. Aside from deterring burglars, the home security system provides a wonderful sense of safety, especially when we’re away from home. Monitoring costs about $1 a day, and is money well spent.

    • Why is it that every time there’s crime in Mt. Pleasant the ANC rep posts on here to either victim blame or assure us that crime is low and nothing needs to be done about it? I understand that there’s no need to be alarmist but come on, show a little concern for these poor folks.

      • Exactly.

        The crime rate always seems to be just fine for you, Jack, but is unacceptable. And higher expectations do make a difference. Whether it matters to you or not, we who expect more are making Mt. Pleasant a safer neighborhood.

  • I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. Home invasions/robberies are scary experiences that can really shake you. You will experience a range of emotions which are all normal. No matter how they got in or –someone came in your home at night. It happened to me in a group house situation and I still think about it. You are considered a victim of a crime and there are some resources provided by DC–not that they are that useful but also keep pestering the detective on the case.

    No one in your home is to blame, but I suggest having a house meeting to discuss how people feel, future steps, and speak with landlord about your concerns. An alarm system is only as good as it is used and functioning appropriately.

  • Sorry to hear that happened to you. On the bright side: They didn’t linger and ransack the place (I’m assuming), and the police are taking it seriously. It’s a million times worse when the police treat you like the criminal/laugh at your misfortune AND you have a huge mess to clean up.

  • We had the same thing happen maybe 2-3 weeks ago during a snowstorm. They kicked in the back door at about 9pm while my (female) roomate was in the shower. It is scary how brazen these burglars are! What a horrible feeling and everyone should make sure to keep windows and doors locked and covered. The cops were pretty sure they broke in cause they saw something they wanted through a window.

    • Ugh — it’s chilling (no pun intended) to realize that thieves are still at work despite adverse weather conditions. I guess the cold might deter crimes of opportunity, but not the serious professionals.

  • Wow, the thieves have balls of brass.

    Thank God the folks are safe.

  • Solution if option:

    1. Go to animal shelter
    2. Get a real dog.
    3. Feed and love it.

    • Come on — the OP is a renter in a group house.
      If you happen to have a dog who likes being a guard dog, great. But getting a dog in lieu of a security system is not a good idea — for one thing, you have no idea whether the dog will actually be a good guard dog. Having a pet isn’t always easy, so it’s much better if the person really wants a dog to begin with and any guard-dog capability is just icing on the cake.

  • Or just clear your sidewalk and front steps of snow and ice so the house actually looks occupied.

  • Sorry this happened to you. Same thing happened to us in DuPont last summer. Thief stood on top of a car and cut a screen to open a window. He climbed in and got a few items, but then woke my roommate. She started screaming and he jumped out the back door. (He was in her room, standing over her while she slept taking her iphone).

    DCPD came and basically laughed at us. Told us it was our fault for not having a security system. I informed them that we rent the place, and the landlord won’t install one. They never followed up with us after. They were also unable to find prints.

    Spoke with the neighbors and found out later that it was the 3rd robbery in two weeks, and we were the 2nd one that night ON OUR BLOCK. With all of that activity, why wasn’t DCPD patrolling??? Packages routinely stolen off of our porch and a recent rash of break-ins isn’t enough to get someone patrolling???

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