“is this even worth reporting to the police?”


“Dear PoPville,

Tuesday night some thieves tried to steal my scooter from right in front of my house on Sherman Ave, between Harvard and Columbia. While heading to work the next morning I noticed the cover was all disheveled. I took a look inside and my glovebox was left open (I leave it unlocked and empty for exactly this scenario). I thought that was it, but then when I went to unlock my chain I noticed it had been largely cut through. The heavy gauge of the chain along with the U-lock saved it from getting stolen, though obviously I have to replace my chain and change the lock just in case.

I wanted to reach out for two reasons. One, scooter enthusiasts – always use a chain and lock and cover, and leave your glovebox unlocked and empty overnight. It’ll save you from having your glovebox lock broken. Two, is this even worth reporting to the police? The citizen in me feels like I should, so that the numbers are on record and something might be done about it, but the DC resident in me feels like it will be a massive waste of time and the cops will tell me to go pound sand.


18 Comment

  • I wouldn’t bother calling the police and having them come out to take a report but you could file an online police report: http://mpdc.dc.gov/service/file-police-report-online

    • OP here – thanks for the link! I was wondering if there was a system in place. I talked to some beat cops in Mt. Pleasant yesterday – who couldn’t help, because their jurisdiction ends at Park Rd ugh – and they said I’d have to go down to U Street to file a report. Also, I realized that there is an MPD security camera above Harvard Liquors l that should have caught the whole thing. I guarantee if they made an effort they could see the perps on video.

      • So first, those cops can take a report. We take them for crimes in other districts all the time. General rule is if the place you’re going to report it to is wearing the same patch, then they can take it.

        Second, this would be damage to property not theft. It’s the only thing you can prove honestly.

        • Figured they could. They were busy chatting with some ladies on Mt. Pleasant road and I don’t think they cared for the interruption. I used the online tool to report it as damage to property. Any chance that the surveillance video will actually get reviewed?

  • Report it as an FYI – attempted robbery. I did that once when I saw a few guys trying to steal my mother’s car on New Years Eve a few years back. The police came out and combed the neighborhood and caught them trying to steal another car.

  • The police cannot do anything about it, but they publicly and repeatedly claim they want to know about all crime in their district. The commander and lieutenants say “email us or call us” all the time, so give it a try.

    (This does not apply to the rank & file, who will probably give you a “Why you bothering me with this 5h!t?” look.)

  • Report it from crime trend purposes – this also happened to 2 of my neighbors on 7th St NW recently. They were advised that it’s likely kids from the neighborhood. Maybe the cops will start watching homes with scooters more closely…worth a shot!

  • I would call the cops. I was at a community meeting this week and the Sgt from 3D stressed over and over that we should be calling in EVERYTHING because they need the statistics to allocate resources, etc etc.

  • Report it online. I’ve had my scooter f#cked with so many times in DC that nothing phases me anymore. And I’m happy that I don’t have an expensive, new Vespa. My old, beat up Stella takes plenty of abuse from the truants of DC.

  • I would report it — either in person or using the link someone provided above.
    We live 3-4 blocks from you and saw something similar going down with neighbor’s scooter, which was parked in front of our building. Called the cops and they responded quickly. Scared the living bejeezus out of the two perps, who clearly had ZERO expectation that anyone would do anything. Nobody has messed with the scooter since.

    (The cops then let the perps walk free, which is another issue….)

  • Talk to your ANC person, there should be a community liaison officer who would be more familiar with the area, etc. and more likely to make use of this info for crime prevention than just filing a report. If you have an active neighborhood association, they probably receive regular visits from the liaison person and can put you in touch, plus they can spread the word.

  • OP here – Thanks for weighing in folks! I did report it using that online resource. Funny, none of the beat cops even knew that was a thing. They told me to go down to the station during normal business hours to file a report… I also went out and bought a fancy new Kryptonite chain. Hopefully between that and theft insurance I should be covered.

  • I think I’ve seen the guys who steal scooters in the neighborhood. My husband I have seen them 3 or 4 times both riding together on different scooters each time…. sometimes on the sidewalk. Keep your eyes peeled for two guys riding on a scooter together…

  • Ah, sorry to hear about your scooter and that people tried to steal it! Good on you for reporting it and getting a new chain and lock. I’ve always been told that having a good cover is a good deterrent so maybe a locking cover? Disc brake lock might work too!

  • Report it, this adds to the data points.

  • Using a chain lock like that is asking for it to be stolen. Theft like this is an opportunity crime, and if you lock down correctly, you can deny that opportunity.

  • I’m happy that your scooter was not stolen. I would recommend parking it in a new place for a while. My neighbors and I have scooters — I park mine in the back, he parks out front. My neighbors scooter was stolen (2x kids tore out the alarm system and rewired the bike), recovered by police during a chase where the kids bailed and were not caught, and later stolen again a few days later. He had a very thick chain the second time around (thinker than yours it appears), and the steering wheel lock was activated. They want your bike, plain and simple. And they still want it now. I would take extra steps to remove it from their short-term memory. Good luck!

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