Friday Question of the Day – Have you been the victim of a crime in DC? (reader request)

Photo by PoPville flickr user Nathan Castellanos

Well this is a depressing one but a reader suggests a poll: “Have you been of victim of crime? Felony, misdemeanor or petty crime?” We actually asked a very similar question back in 2014 so it’ll be interesting to compare the results. In 2014 I added that I’d be curious to know where it happened and when (what year)? Also if an arrest/conviction was made?

218 Comment

  • 1) Cell phone pickpocketed at shitty Dupont club

    2) Bike stolen in broad daylight in Mt. Pleasant (left it locked outside for about 2 hrs)

    3) Package stolen in Bloomingdale

  • Fortunately, only a little non-violent, though I’ve witnessed several more serious/violent crimes.

  • Joshua

    Larceny and car break-in

  • Should diff between violent / non-violent.
    No to first.
    Yes to second – guessing most yes to second.

  • Within a few months of moving to DC back in the summer of 2012 I went to a coworker’s moving-in party out at Virginia Square. I was living in Mt Pleasant. I biked there and left a little before 3am. Got totally lost in Virginia and it took me about 1.5hrs to get back to NW DC. Just before 17th and Columbia at ~4am I noticed at the last minute 3 dudes squatting behind two parked cars. One of them jumped out and punched me in the throat. I’m a strong cyclist so I stayed upright. Dialed 911 immediately while riding up Colombia but wasn’t able to speak because my throat just got punched. Within 30 seconds I became aware of a black SUV with Maryland plates on the wrong side of the street along side me, with the rear window down and two guys shouting racially charged threats at me. I pocketed my phone, slammed my brakes, and jammed down an alley (I’m guessing either Quarry or Harvard in hindsight). They busted the red light out to 16th. I was terrified that if I called 911 again they would just do me for bike DUI (didn’t know confidently how sober I was yet) since they probably had no way to actually catch the guy who attacked me. I waited two days before filing a report, and the MPD officer who interviewed me said, “Look, we aren’t going to catch them, so there is no use in filing a report. Understand? I mean… do you understand…?” Needless to say, I didn’t file a report. I biked around carrying my U-lock in my right hand for the next month. Now I just ride smart and keep my head on a swivel. Never had an issue since.

    • needless to say, since then i’m fairly convinced that if i ever saw some prick try something like that again I’d probably risk my neck, physically and legally, to turn their face into oatmeal. not proud of that, but emotions and all that

    • This attitude from MPD is infuriating – it’s how they get away with claiming violent crime is low, or falling, or whatever the nonsense of the day is. The crime above, which is unquestionably assault (and probably a host of other things like attempted robbery), didn’t get counted in the crime statistics. And we hear of stories like this all the time. We have no accurate picture of what the crime level in DC is.

      • Agreed — this is very frustrating.
        Anon MPD, Annon MPD (2), Detective Friendly, and any other cops on PoPville — what’s the main reason behind “juking the stats” like this? Pressure from lower-level management? Pressure from higher-level management? Is it encouraged/excused/condoned?

        • You make a good point textdoc. Report for the stats even if they won’t catch anyone.

        • Yes! I don’t know why we let MPD and/or the Mayor get away with this re-classifying or downgrading crimes to make it look like violent crime is down.
          I was told to look at the FBI numbers for the true statistics. Id still love to know how many crimes actually lead to an arrest. According to MPD, they don’t track that info!

          • Easy answer: property values. Got to keep those double digit annual increases in property prices (even if it’s totally divorced from wages)

        • Anyone? Very curious what PoPville’s MPD folks think about the phenomenon of “juking the stats” to make the crime statistics look more favorable.

        • textdoc, I’m higher-level management side, civilian, and I’d love to hear some answers to your question from patrol cops. From my perspective on this, it is not upper management because what we really hate is hearing about complaints and stories like this. There is no way you can beat crime if criminals get away with committing crimes. (Yes, that applies to people we lock up and the courts release, too.)

          Anonymous: Someone has been giving you very, very bad information. FBI crime stats (which are compiled and reported by MPD to the FBI), like DC Code crime stats, are based on reports taken by officers. If they don’t take a report, the crime doesn’t show up in either set of stats. The only difference is that FBI definitions are based on standardized definitions for the type of crime, while MPD’s DC Code numbers are based on local, DC criminal code. For instance, until 2013 rape according to the FBI definition could only be of a woman by a man. The 2 data sets also differ in that the FBI set is a static snapshot, while DC Code data may change based on later investigations or classification changes. In general, they both represent some major crime categories, similar to an economic market basket.

          Also, MPD absolutely track arrests. I can’t imagine how someone could tell you that we don’t. Perhaps there was some confusion with convictions because that information does not reliably come back to us from the prosecutors/courts. Or someone just lied to you. So if you need information on something related to MPD, you might want to try a more reliable source.

      • It happened to me when I was burglarized. The police were trying to argue that we had drugs in the house (no evidence of such, but the place was torn up as if someone had been looking for drugs), and were threatening us with jail if we filed a police report. We did anyway, because we knew we did nothing wrong, but it made a terrible situation so much worse. That part was actually more traumatic than the actual burglary IMO.

  • There should be an option to select more than one! I suspect I’m not the only one who’s been the victim of more than one crime, both violent and non-violent.

  • I had a bike stolen (locked up with a u-lock) two years ago and also had my ass groped by a man on a bike last year. The ass grabber wasn’t caught, but the officer and detective I talked to took it very seriously. I was worried that it would be dismissed as something not worth looking into.

  • I’ve lived in the city since 2009, and the crimes I’ve experienced have all been car related. I live in Lanier Heights near the zoo and have had 4 hit and runs in the last 4 years. Out of the 4, only one left a note. To make it even more frustrating, I make it a point to park on the wider streets in spots where I thought this would be less likely to happen. My partner tells me this is just the price we pay for living in the city and I don’t think this should be an acceptable norm. Are others experiencing hit and runs with regularity?

  • Lived in DC for 8yrs (1yr in Takoma, 7 in CoHi). Car broken into twice, two bikes stolen (one locked, the other our storage unit inside apt bldng) and finally I was jumped on our block (though I managed to get away after the initial blow). I will say, these all happened in the first 5 years, so nothing in a while.
    Sadly, wish we could check multiple boxes.

  • I selected the non-violet category but the crime was definitely above a simple package theft or stolen bike.

    House was broken into twice once while we were there and once while we were out. The latter being a really dumb criminal and they caught him.

  • Missed the question back in 2014, but here’s an odd one: I can’t remember exactly what year but it was some time between 2005 and 2007 and someone meticulously stole the fog lights from my car. They actually did a great job. My car was parked about 1/2 block away from MPD 3D and one morning I walked up and saw wires dangling out of the two holes in the air dam under the front bumper where the fog lights were. There was no damage to the plastic air dam but replacing the lights would have been really expensive. So rather than give the thief yet another opportunity to steal an expensive set of lights I just bought blanks from the dealer and filled in the holes.

  • This Definitely needs to accept multiple responses

  • Been in DC on and off since 1995, in Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle. I passed by a man jerking off in a car in broad daylight. Other than that nothing has happened to me. I don’t own a car so maybe that has something to do with it. I have friends that have been pick pocketed, robbed, attacked on their doorstep, but nothing to me. Knock on wood.

  • binntp

    1 burglary, 1 stolen purse.
    Truthfully, I view most non-violent crime as just bad luck that can happen anywhere. I’ve had friends/relatives whose homes were also broken into in Brussels; Copenhagen; Greeley, CO; Falls Church; Chicago; Nashville, TN; and rural Virginia.

  • It’s funny – when I first read the question my immediate thought was no, I haven’t been the victim of a crime. But then I read the descriptions and realized, yes, apparently I have been. Having packages stolen is so commonplace, I didn’t even think of it as a crime at first. I’ve lived in CoHi for 8 years and have had a few packages stolen from my house and we’ve had a bike stolen out of the back yard. I’ve never had anything major with my car in the city, I leave it unlocked sometimes and I know people have slept in there at night when it’s cold, but I wouldn’t consider that a crime.

    • I thought the same thing! In my 10 years in DC (Logan Circle, Dupont, and mainly CoHeights/Mt P/Park View) the only crime I personally have had to deal with is stolen packages (thankfully) – but it’s happened so often that I barely think of it as a crime! Sheesh.

    • As to your first point, I read it and thought the same way. But, I’ve had dozens of packages stolen in the 6 years I’ve lived in DC. You’re right – it is so commonplace I did not even consider it. Otherwise, I am fortunate.

    • Ha — I felt the same way… but then I realized… hit and run while I was on my bike in 2005, wallet stolen from my (locked) gym locker in 2006, groped by a (presumably mentally ill) homeless man in 2012, hit and run to my parked car in 2013, hit and tried to run in 2014 (I was in the car and called the cops; they came but said they couldn’t determine fault for insurance purposes and all they could do was ticket the guy), to say nothing of the package thefts…

      Then there’s the everyday stuff, like being screamed at by (another presumably mentally ill) man in Georgetown last night and almost getting hit by a car turning while I was in the crosswalk on my way to work this morning. But’s just city living, right? Last summer I was walking from the Metro to my office and a (again, presumably mentally ill) guy had his pants down and was masturbating in my direction. I didn’t even notice until the building cop came out yelling at him to stop.

      I consistently feel very grateful that I haven’t been the target of a violent crime in the District.

  • One car stolen, 2 cars broken into, wife’s wallet stolen on the metro, don’t know how many packages stolen until we started making other arrangements for delivery. Nothing violent, for which I could us extremely lucky.

  • Side note – I know the poll questions re mugging are meant to distinguish between muggings that were actually violent v. just the threat of violence, but I consider the threat of violence connected with a crime to be a violent crime (and I wish MPD would too). The fact that it didn’t escalate is very good, but that doesn’t take away the violent element. If that’s not present, it’s just some guy asking for my stuff – I say no, and be on my way.

    • All robberies are counted as violent crimes in the District — both in how MPD counts crimes and by legal definition (Crimes of violence, DC Code 23-1331(4)).

    • HaileUnlikely

      I do not know what PoP’s intended distinction was, nor how commenters are using it, but in general, I have noticed that many people on here (not this discussion, but PopVille generally) misuse “mugged” and “robbed” when they mean that somebody broke into their home or car and stole stuff when they were not home. I counted having had a gun pointed at me as “violent” even though the perpetrators made no attempt to actually injure me.

      • Yes, HaileUnlikely, that is definitely a violent crime! Any display of a gun is meant to terrorize. I am very sorry that you have had to go through that.

      • Yep — in general parlance, we tend to use “robbery”/”burglary”/”theft” somewhat interchangeably, but their legal definitions are different. IIRC, “robbery” is basically a mugging, “burglary” is someone breaking into your house and stealing something, and “theft” is when someone takes your property on the sly (e.g., pickpocketing, stealing an insufficiently “watched” purse at a club, etc.).
        (Anon MPD, please correct me if I got any of that wrong.)

        • HaileUnlikely

          I’ve always used “robbed” to mean stuff taken from your person via use of force or threat of use of force, “burglarized” to mean stuff taken from your house or car or whatever when you were not present or at least not involved (in contrast to “home invasion” or “carjacking”), and don’t use mugged because I’ve never been clear on what it is intended to mean.

          • MPD has a category for “Theft from Auto” — I think they count breaking into someone’s home and stealing something differently than breaking into someone’s car and stealing something.
            I’ve always thought of “mugging” (which I think is legally “robbery”) as being accosted and asked for wallet/phone/whatever, usually with some kind of threat involved (gun/knife) or a menacing attitude/implicit threat. MPD calls the latter “Robbery – Fear/Intimidation.”

          • Tsar of Truxton

            Burglary is unlawful entry to a building/dwelling with the intent to commit a crime (you don’t have to be successful in the crime). If the person is at home, it is still burglary. In D.C., I believe the difference between first and second degree burglary is whether the person is home. Breaking into a car would not be burglary because it is not a building or dwelling.

          • You three have a good general understanding of the nuances here. Some notes: The Tsar is correct on the burglary. HU: A carjacking is a robbery. Textdoc, under DC Code, the difference between robbery and theft is largely one of possession. So pickpocketing — taking something from a pocket or purse on the victim’s body — would be a robbery. However if the owner walked away from the purse to perhaps pay a bill, then it would be theft.

            Our annual reports, available online at mpdc.dc.dov, explain the definitions used for the regular reporting.

          • Thanks for your responses here and above, AnonMPD. It’s heartening to know that upper-level management doesn’t approve of “juking the stats.”
            I haven’t had much interaction with MPD myself, but I’ve heard so many discouraging stories on PoPville — cases where “breaking and entering” was downgraded to “trespassing,” where pickpocketing was downgraded to “lost property,” etc. Those instances and the ones in which victims were pressured not to file a report at all are really discouraging.

  • Bike stolen out of garage at apartment building. It was old and I was very busy (plus I had no idea when it had actually been stolen beyond sometime in the last 2 months) so I didn’t file a police report.

  • Columbia Heights 13th street Rowhouse burglarized during the day.

    Adams Morgan basement apartment attempted burglary (I was home and scared him off).

  • Living in the U st./Logan Circle area since 2009, I have had my car broken into 3 times (nothing stolen any of those times) and a bike stolen out of my back yard.
    I agree with the comment that I view those more as bad luck than anything else.

  • jim_ed

    Accidentally left the truck unlocked one night and someone went through it, left the expensive stroller in the trunk, but did take a beat ass pair of nikes from the back seat. A visiting friend did have his window popped and a bag rifled through but nothing actually stolen. My wife also accidentally left her purse on the porch for 30 minutes once, never to be seen again. We’ve been lucky, but we’re also pretty vigilant.

    • Might have been a homeless person who needed shoes but had no need for a stroller.

      • I assume things are usually stolen in these situations for the purpose of being sold for cash, rather than personal use. Maybe there is not much of a black market for a stroller.

  • Oh man…probably be easier to find someone who hadn’t been a victim than one who had.

    Lived in CH for 3.5 years.

    Car broken into (1)
    House broken into (1)
    Attempted mugging (1)
    Multiple packages stolen (3-4)
    bike stolen (1)
    one of the local crack heads defecated in the entrance area to my english basement (1)
    brick thrown through living room window (1)

    One would think I have a pheromone that attracts this kind of thing, but most of my neighbors have similar lists.

  • Only one package stolen in nearly 7 years.
    Multiple attempted thefts of my old scooter with the attendant damage/vandalism that comes from such attempts. My insurance wrote off the most previous attempt in December as a total loss due to the severity of the damage. It sucked, but I really also wanted a new Vespa…sometimes crime does pay for the victim! 🙂

    • How do you lock up your scooter, and what was the damage done by the attempted thefts? Just curious and for theft prevention tips. I had my old Buddy locked up in my front yard in NE with a heavy chain and it wasn’t bothered for over a year, just got a Vespa too.

      • I use a very thick cable (about 0.75″ thick) and a heavy lock. I’ve had no issues with the lock and cable.
        In terms of damage, they’ve tried to break the ignition lock multiple times with a screwdriver. This ruined my key cylinder and is a huge pain in the ass to replace.
        I’ve also had my seat slashed and the bike tipped over multiple times (in different locations throughout the city over 4 years). The last time, they totally screwed up the handle bars by trying to break the ignition lock through brute force and it wouldn’t steer properly after. The parts to replace were cheap enough (probably $300-400) but the labor would be too expensive. Hence, they cut me a check for $1500 and I put that toward a gently used, low mileage Vespa.
        I now park my Vespa in a parking garage a few blocks from my apartment. I park on a relatively quiet sidewalk in the CBD and have never had an issue there.

        • Thank you. That is so frustrating and senseless. This definitely makes me feel justified in getting comprehensive at $68/year, even on just a 2010 used Vespa, even though I had no vandalism/theft issues with my old one. I use one of those heavy metal chains with the long rod that goes through the back wheel and no one has touched it. Probably just my luck so far.

  • No. I’ve lived in DC for 23 years.

    • Wow! You’re lucky! I’ve lived here 29 years and was feeling lucky as well — in all that time, I’ve had a car stolen (it was recovered, though I really didn’t want it back since the thief had been living in it), a single package theft (they got away with a bikini-line waxing kit, dammit), and two instances of vandalism to my house. This despite having walked to work and back every day. Reading these posts, I feel positively charmed.

      • Yeah, maybe some of it is “luck,” but I also have never owned a car or bike in DC, and for the past 20 years I’ve lived in a condo that someone would really need personal motivation to break into. Some of it is luck, some of it is being aware of one’s surroundings and avoiding potential risky situations (though there were certainly times in my 20’s when I didn’t….)

  • Car window smashed 2x in Mt. Pleasant in 2001/2002. The only thing that was taken was a book on how to repair bikes (because that’s all that was in the car).

  • – Grand Theft Auto
    – Multiple Car Break-ins
    – Attempted B&E at my house
    … and I consider myself lucky. What a place.

  • Also interested in knowing if any arrests or convictions made on any of these reported crimes. In my case, the answer is “no” and I’m guessing this is true for most, which is perhaps the most distressing aspect of this.

  • I’ve been around it, but not a victim of it in my 40 years in the city. KNOCKING ON WOOD! No Jinxing!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever had any packages stolen. I had one recently that said it was delivered but I never got it and I was home and walked out of my house maybe 30 mins after the supposed delivery time (I can also hear when people are on my stoop). UPS says they lost the package, so I don’t count that. I also once had an attempted break-in in my house, but it was my roommate who was home at the time, and they never got in, so not counting that either. Other than that, I think I’ve been pretty lucky.

  • Been in DC for 10 years, and my only crime experience was getting pistol whipped in a mugging in 2012. Someone tried to pickpocket me about 2 years ago, I punched them in the face and they ran off, so that doesn’t really count.

  • dcgator

    No. 4 years in DC proper (and, yeah, I know I’m due).

  • I said no, but I realized that I had been a victim of crime – my cleaning service stole most of my good pieces of jewelry. I didn’t realize it for 3 weeks, so I figured the jewelry was long gone and didn’t report it. But, this type of thing really can happen anywhere.

  • 1. Mugging outside Union Station. An arrest was made.
    2. Home break-in (no one was home) off of H Street. No arrest was made.
    3. Multiple bike thefts while living on Capitol Hill. No arrests.
    4. Home invasion with someone home (nothing stolen) in Deanwood. The cops knew the kids and went to their house to arrest them.

    • oh and 1 car break-in but that was also related to the home invasion where my husband was home.

      • So they broke into the car first and then tried the house?

        • yeah a group of 3 kids broke into our car and then tried breaking into the house via an opened bedroom window. The kids stupidly tried crawling in through the window directly next to where my husband was sitting. The climbed in saw my very big (and very confused) husband and jumped back out the window.

  • Lived in the DC area since 1989. Logan Circle from ’89 – ’91, MD from ’91 – ’03 and Petworth from ’03 – present.

    1990 – Robbed at gunpoint on P ST, NW. Robber committed about a dozen similar crimes in a month, was arrested and pleaded guilty to four of them in a plea bargain.

    1993 – Roommate’s girlfriend’s Jeep nearly stolen in parking lot of PG Plaza. Guy was still in the car when we got back to it, roommate and I very nearly caught him as he ran.

    1994 – Car trunk broken into on 14th and K ST, NW on a Saturday night. Cops never even bothered to show up to take a report.

    1999 – Witnessed a shooting at Union Station, was able to direct police to some evidence.

    2004 – Gay bashed at Randolph and Kansas, NW – brick to the face resulting in $50K in reconstructive surgery. Scared the attackers off, but the police basically told me there was nothing they could do.

  • We were victims of a non-violent break in. It happened a month after we lost our first baby, and a week after my husband completely snapped his Achilles. It was an absolutely devastating blow, even though what we lost was easily replaced and covered by insurance.

    • Oh! I forgot we had our car stolen last year while we were in the hospital having a baby! My relatives called me and asked, “Did you guys move the car?” and I, of course, said, “No. Remember a few hours ago when I birthed a person?” So that’s how we figured it out. Got it back, too! The police recovered it in Anacostia Park – no arrest.

  • We’ve lived in the DC area since 2001 and in DC itself since 2010. Since moving to DC, we’ve had one package stolen from our porch. I had my wallet kind-of stolen. (I set it down while paying a take out tab, walked away without realizing I’d left it, and when I came back the wallet was gone. But it was mailed back to me on my birthday a year later!) Our parked car was the victim of a hit-and-run that was never solved. Other than that, we’ve been fortunate.

  • Nope. Maybe a package stolen once, but I think they just didn’t deliver it.

  • Minor stuff: stolen bike seat, and people have gotten into our car a couple times when we accidentally left it unlocked overnight (taking nothing but spare change).

    • Ah, I should add the $5 fake Wayfarers plucked off our front fence post while I was taking a five-minute gardening break inside.

  • Both last year:

    1. I was violently assaulted and robbed by two teenagers on a Saturday afternoon in the spring last year. It was egregious enough that it made PoPville. Thanks to AMAZING neighbors who came outside after hearing me screaming “HELP!” they were caught. The more violent one was charged with a felony and got the year probation thing. The other was downgraded to misdemeanors (I was not happy with this). I have no idea what happened beyond that.

    2. I had a package stolen from my building’s lobby during a particularly bad spell last year. Found the empty box in the stairwell.

  • ~2008 – purse stolen at a Columbia Hts bar, no report made;
    2012 – rowhouse broken into – 3 laptops & a bottle of vodka stolen, police came & report made;
    2015 – man was masturbating next to me in a movie theater. I yelled, he ran. Police came & were responsive

  • Lived in Columbia Heights for 2 years, no crime
    Lived in Mt Pleasant for 2 years, 1 package stolen
    Lived near H Street NE 3 years, house was broken into twice, but was under renovation at the time so no one was living there, tools stolen. Reported it to the police the second time, but nothing came of it.
    I saw a guy’s dick when he was peeing in an alley last week, while I was walking with my 3 year old. Does that count as a crime?

    Never had a bike stolen! KNOCK ON WOOD (but I have had bike lights stolen.)

  • Sexually assaulted by a bad Tinder date.

    • Dear god! I’m so sorry to hear this! did you report it to the police? if so, did anything come of it?

  • Emmaleigh504

    No. I’ve lived here 9 years.

  • Car broken into a few years ago.

    That’s it.

  • I stupidly forgot my credit card with the cashier at the National Geographic museum and they went on a shopping spree. They spent over $3k in 24 hours. Not sure if this counts, as it was my own negligence. However the joke was on them as it was an Amex and they prosecuted. Other than that I’ve never even had a package stolen. It makes me a little paranoid

  • I’ve lived here since 2004 and have been lucky to never been a victim of a crime. Always lived in apartments with front desk staffing, so never even had a package stolen. And I’ve never had a car in DC so I don’t have one to be broken into.

  • Like most I reckon, couple bikes stolen from street, garage break-in with bikes stolen, car tire slashed, victim of hobo scam..

    The interesting one was in 2009, my car was stolen. I had just about made peace with it when I got a parking ticket in the mail (10 days later). The car was parked illegally and had been ticketed about 3 days after stolen. Called the cops, car was still sitting where it had been left. Of course parking enforcement and regular police have no connection and ticket did not trigger any alert although I had reported it stolen. There was a very large rock in the car, used for what nefarious purpose I know not. I still use a screwdriver to start my car now which is a great conversation piece.

  • Got out of my restaurant shift around 4:30AM on Saturday. Walked home to my studio apartment in Georgetown above a restaurant. Sat down a few minutes, then ran around the corner to buy the Sunday newspaper. Did not lock door. Came back, sat down, read paper for 15 minutes. Heard noise coming from closet. Opened closet and found a short, well-dressed man. After some freak-out yelling from me, I quickly determined the man was more scared of me than I was of him (also, much smaller and more “clean cut”), I bear hugged him, lifted him up, spun him around toward the door, and yelled for him to get out. He was silent the entire time with this look on his face like, “oh sh!t.”

    Non-violent, non-forcible entry, quasi-burglary. Was THIS CLOSE to going to sleep with dude hiding in my closet.

    Surprised I’ve never been violently mugged or successfully burgled in the 15 years I’ve been here. I credit being tall and dressing like I’ve got a buck fifty in my pocket.

    • What. The. Fuck. That is absolutely insane!

      • I would NEVER think to leave my door unlocked, even if it was during the day, even if I was home. But I guess when you’re big and tough and used to being out during the sketchy hours of the night you have a different perspective!

        • Kukki Bakemono

          My brother, who lives in the deep suburbs of Alexandria, often doesn’t lock the door to my apartment when he comes inside. I scolded him one time and said, “WTF, dude! This isn’t Alexandria…lock the damn door behind you!”.

          • Having lived in Alexandria, I think it’s incredibly reckless to leave a door unlocked there as well!

          • My mom does this too. Sometimes she tries to justify it with “But I was only going to be upstairs for a couple of minutes!” I have to remind her that a couple of minutes is all it takes for someone to open the front door and snatch MY purse from downstairs.

          • And speaking of my mom… despite being tightfisted to a fault, she was taken in by the locksmith scam while visiting me. (I was at the office.)
            This was particularly frustrating because I’d already been compiling scam lists for PoPville by then, but it didn’t occur to me that I’d need to warn my mom too. Gahh!

    • That is crazy!

    • (My dad loves that story and makes me tell it frequently.)


      2002 @ 930 club: window busted, car radio and 4 of our coats stolen while parked on Vermont. (I remember when you couldn’t park anywhere near there without this happening). No report filed.
      2005: 15th and Euclid – grand theft auto. Found car around the block with top down and burnt out clutch. Car to junkyard. Report filed.
      2005: 15th and Euclid tires slashed (different car than above). No report filed. My mother was in town and we were due to head to the beach.
      2013: credit card fraud – closed my tab at a bar, but was given another person’s card that looked exactly like mine. Woke up to thousands of dollars of charges as thieves visited every CVS between downtown DC and Rockville. Checked my pockets and saw the name on my card was not mine. Report filed, charges reversed. Was told that an employee at that bar was under investigation for stealing credit cards. Bar no longer open and will remain nameless.

      • And this, right here, is the crucial difference between here and many other places. Basically the same thing happened to me in Seattle when I was there on vacation a couple years ago. I went to close my tab and the bartender took a while, then came back to me sheepishly and admitted that he had accidentally closed someone else’s tab on my card and given it to them – they were the same brand/bank cards. He said that the other customer he had given the card to was a regular, so he already had his coworker on the phone behind him (a) cancelling the transaction; (b) calling the regular to see if he can bring the card back and get *his* card; and (c) comped my entire tab and would comp anything else I wanted before leaving. I had to leave to make something scheduled, so I said I would just call and cancel the card and protest the charge, but the bartender asked if there was a way to contact me and let me know everything was squared away, just in case. I gave him my business card (work address) and wrote my cell phone number on it. A few days later, back at home, my credit card was mailed to me at my office with a note that the regular had brought it back within an hour and an apology. I got the “you cancelled your card because it was stolen” letter from my bank, with a listing of recent charges, and neither the charge from the bar (I hadn’t protested it yet because it never appeared) nor anything else was on it. Moments that restore your faith in humanity, and all that…

        • But the flip side of that story happened here. I went to the liquor store right up the street from me (generally descent place, and the staff know me since I only live a block away and we have random Facebook friends in common – VERY small world stuff) with CC and cell phone in the same pocket. While grabbing some beer, my phone rang or buzzed (can’t remember now if it was a call or text/email) and I pulled my phone out. I went to the counter to pay, reached in my pocket, and no credit card. I told the woman behind me in line to go ahead while I located my credit card. All of a sudden there was shouting and arguing and I looked up from my search to see the staff member behind the counter holding my credit card saying “this is yours, right?” I had apparently dropped my credit card out of my pocket when I pulled my phone out, and the B behind me had scooped my dropped credit card off the floor and was attempting to use it *right there!* THANKFULLY, they knew my name, chased her out of the store, and returned my card to me, but that was a *seriously* bold maneuver. I was less than 5′ away from her, knowing I had misplaced my card somewhere in the last block, while she was trying to use my credit card!
          I also went into TD Bank to return a lost debit card I found on the sidewalk and they were *very* surprised that someone would do that! They even asked me if I tried to use it and I said “um, no…why would I be here if I was trying to commit fraud? Really, I’m sure the owner has already cancelled it, but in case they’re worried about fraud, now you can notify them that their card was turned in and they don’t have to worry about it anymore?”

  • HaileUnlikely

    Robbed at gunpoint twice, both times by a group of young teen-agers (probably ages 13-16 or so), once in 2006, other time in 2014, both times while walking home from bus or metro (.6 miles, at least twice a day every day since 2004 – the exposure really adds up). Not injured either time, but afraid they were going to panic and shoot me by accident both times.

  • The car got keyed badly while parked in Petworth for less than 90 minutes, in broad daylight on a Sunday afternoon.

  • Lived here since 2006. Had my bike stolen, a bunch of wedding presents stolen, iphone snatched, car broken into a couple times, house broken into. Over 10 years, I guess not too bad?

  • Over about 15 years that I’ve been here:
    Car window smashed once
    Bike stolen (and recovered!)
    Package stolen (jerk arrested, prosecuted)
    Threatened a couple of times – police reports, but no results
    Almost robbed at gunpoint but the guy dropped his pistol and I took off running
    (witness to) shooting – 3 arrested and prosecuted, long jail times

  • In DC for 9 years and I consider myself lucky I haven’t been robbed like most of my friends.

    -Bike stolen on 18th near Dupont
    -multiple bike lights and helmet stolen throughout the years (who does this and why?!?)
    -car broken into & rifled through on Lamont & 16th, but nothing taken because car was essentially empty

    • oh, and my tires were recently slashed on Lamont near Mount Pleasant. 4 other cars’ front right tires were slashed a couple months ago. It sucked.

      • oh and a plumbing crew stole one of our Playstation 3 controllers last year while putting new pipes into our apartment building. Who does that?

      • if this is the same incident, my car got it too and it was more like 30+ cars overnight

        • there was one massive slashing that happened last summer (2015) and the one that happened to me was mid/late April this year.

  • Fall 2011 was pretty rough… Had my iPhone stolen out of my hand while waiting for the Circulator at 14th & Columbia, at like 8pm on a random weeknight. Thanksgiving night I was shoved into traffic on Georgia Avenue & Fairmont while I was running home to get a can opener. And just before Christmas I had a group of guys try to force me in their alley on Park road, literally 1/2 a block away from the police station.

    Bad things happen in threes, right? No big issues since then, but it was quite the rude awakening to what life in a city can be like sometimes.

  • package theft a few years ago. reported it online but nothing ever happened–the item had sentimental but not monetary value and I assume it was trashed.

    grabbed by a beggar in 2007; she scratched me and I guess it’s technically assault but I didn’t report it. same with kids who like to sit at the playground and yell curse words and racist/homophobic stuff at people walking by–certainly harassment but I haven’t called the cops.

    I also have witnessed at least three shootings (as in heard gunshots and saw people running) and reported them to the police, but in most cases there nobody was hit. So I was not the victim, but I think in cases like that we all suffer a little bit from the fear, anger, and hassle that comes with such events.

    • oh, and someone took my wallet while I was at a Nats game (realized when I got home; they’d already used the smarttrip card). It’s possible that it fell out of my bag, so not *quite* theft but also not exactly honorable behavior. Didn’t bother reporting it. I was able to cancel the credit cards immediately and the smarttrip card within a couple days, and there was no cash in it, so it was more annoying than anything.

  • I’ve lived 15 years in DC and my wife 5. Never been a victim of anything but now I’m getting anxious about reversion to the mean….

  • I suppose this counts as “violent,” although fortunately it was pretty low on the violence spectrum — in 2002, I was walking home in Adams Morgan and three teenage boys flew by me on bicycles, each slapping my butt HARD as he passed. I called 911. The cops had seen a possible match for the perps, and one of them picked me up in a police car to do a drive-by ID… but the cop misheard and/or couldn’t find the intersection of Harvard and Argonne. We drove east as far as the reservoir and then back. I can’t remember whether the possible perps were gone by the time we made it to the right place, or if they were there but they weren’t a match for the ones I saw.
    A few days later, I got a call from (IIRC) a detective, asking if I could remember any more details about the teenage boys. Apparently there had been a rape, and they were trying to figure out if it was the same guys. 🙁
    Sometime in the late 2000s, I was walking from Adams Morgan to Meridian Hill Park to watch the fireworks on July 4, and there was a guy jerking off while sitting at a bus stop on Columbia Road. As soon as I was out of possible earshot I called 911.
    I have never been mugged and my car has never been broken into. The only things I’ve had stolen were a DSL modem sent to my house before I moved in (signed for by a “Jose” and never seen again) and (this year) five red tulips in my yard.

    • I forgot to add… when incident #1 happened (getting slapped HARD on the butt by three teenage boys on bicycles), I was furious — absolutely boiling with rage. It occurred to me later that if I’d had a gun, I probably would’ve shot them.
      If I’d ever had any doubts about people carrying guns not being a good idea, that settled it. You can’t rely on being calm, cool, and collected when something like that happens. Yes, those kids deserved to be punished for what they did, but shooting them would’ve been completely disproportionate to the crime.

      • Last week I was approached by some girl who I thought was going to help me maneuver of a tight parking space, and instead she started bitching and screaming at me that I’d tapped the car behind me (not hers). There was no way I could have gotten out of the space without tapping the car (as lightly as possible!) and she probably woke up the neighborhood with her yelling since it was late at night. It was the kind of situation where someone just wanted to harass someone else for no reason other than to make themselves feel good. I was (still am) boiling with rage over the incident, and I couldn’t help but think that she wouldn’t have started bullying me if I wasn’t a mousy little woman in Logan Circle who obviously didn’t look like a gun owner.

        • Possibly. I’m not convinced by the argument that “People are better behaved to each other when they fear that the other party might be armed,” though. Seems like you’re more likely to get the same amount of rudeness, etc., except that when the situation escalates, it escalates into gunshots being fired rather than somebody punching someone else.

    • I finally got around to reporting the flower theft today, after somebody posted here in the past few days the link for reporting (certain non-violent) crimes online ( ).
      I received this response: “Need the value of the tulips &daffodils and state if this incident happened in March why are you just now filling this report. Do you know if any camera in this area that might have catcher the thief.”
      Sigh. Why didn’t they just make the “value” textbox a required field, if they can’t process a report without it??

  • In 2014 I witnessed a shooting in Petworth, in 2003ish our car was stolen in Takoma Park, robbed a few times in the late 80s around U St, but that we me being a dumb kid doing dumb kid stuff and pretty much asking for it.

  • ++8 years in DC++
    -Car broken into 3 times. Smashed window. Oddly, 3 different windows. Once in dupont, once in CoHe, once in Admo.
    -Bike stolen in front of my house in Bloomingdale. Left it outside overnight. Never again.
    -Probably a dozen packages stolen from my porch in Bloomingdale, until we let the delivery guys know the code to get into our building. Since then, nothing.
    -Witnessed an auto theft and hit and run last week. Was the only witness, but so far no one from MPD has followed up with me. And they caught the freaking guy! Probably let him go. UGHHHHH

  • I was held up at gun point in front of my house in Columbia Heights 9 years ago. I wasn’t sure whether to check “yes, violent mugging” or “yes, non-violent mugging.” I wasn’t harmed, but maybe a gun crime is inherently violent? Had a package stolen once when a relative ignored my request to send gifts to my office.

    • And there was no arrest in the mugging. There were three guys who ran down the alley afterwards. The cops came right away and were great, but they didn’t find the guys.

  • Car break ins in: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2012
    House break in: 2007
    Package theft: 2003, 2016

  • In DC for almost 17 years and I’ve been the victim of two property crimes:

    1. 2014 a package worth about $5 was stolen from my front porch
    2. 2010 my car was broken into in Logan Circle

    Considering that I’ve lived 13 of those 17 years in Columbia Heights and Petworth and have spent time for work, play or social activities in virtually every neighborhood of the city I’d call that a damn good track record.

  • Non-violent: Car break-in.
    Violent (?): I don’t know what this was but I was grabbed from behind around 3am and the dude wouldn’t let go. Luckily I carried mace with me so I could get away without anything worse happening.
    Violent: SO was hit in the back of the head and knocked unconscious.

    • How did you deploy the mace in that situation? Were you carrying it in your hand when it happened or did you manage to fish it out of your purse in time?

      • It was on my keychain, which I was carrying in my hand already. There were actually two of them and I sprayed one and the second guy ran away and left his friend writhing on the ground.

        • SKT, where did you buy the keychain mace? how did/do you prevent it from going off accidentally?

          • My friend brought it home with her from Michigan. I think some friends have gotten them in VA but you have to register it in DC (mine wasn’t, which is partially why I never reported the above incident). It had a little flap at the top that you had to push up in order to use it to prevent it from going off accidentally. It looked pretty similar to this (but mine wasn’t neon pink):

        • Yeah, I always wonder if anyone has been able to effectively use mace if they weren’t already holding it. I used to consider getting some to carry while walking late at night, but now in those situations I just take an Uber to my door. For a freak 3pm robbery it would be buried under a bunch of things in my bag.

  • Kukki Bakemono

    Been in DC since 2009. Package stolen (birthday present from my best friend), threatened with violence a couple times, tire slashed once, and my parked car was the victim of a hit and run once.

    I’ve had a car stolen, car broken into, robbed at gunpoint, and assaulted during a road rage incident, but all while living someplace other than DC.

    • Road rage-related incidents are much more prevalent in the suburbs, in my experience.
      The stolen package from your friend sucks. At least when it’s something you ordered online it can be replaced easily.

      • A road rager in Fairfax County made threatened to harm my elderly mother in law because I wasn’t driving to his liking. I reported him to the police who actually berated me for wasting their time. The dude could have had a gun! But I guess it’s just a normal part of life there.

  • I have lived in DC for 12 years:
    1. Armed robbery 3/2016 (H St NE) – one guy in jail pending trial, other 2 still at large.
    2. Car Theft 3/2016 (H St NE) – no arrests – same night as armed robbery noted above
    3. Car break-in 10/2009 (SE), no arrests – smashed driver side window and stole the glass scraper I used to scrape off my registration sticker the day before (nothing else was in the car)
    4. Car vandalized 7/2008 (Adams Morgan) – no arrests – was at dinner, entire hood and entire driver side were keyed to the primer with words written in cursive
    5. Shooting through my window at home (SE) – 2005, no arrests

    • Wait, so you got robbed only to discover your car was missing? That’s insane! So is the shooting through the window.

      • Discovered the car was missing then was robbed at gunpoint while on the phone with 911 reporting the car stolen. Shooting through the window was scary as crap since I was watching tv in the same room as where the bullet came flying through, but didn’t get hurt. Police response for all 5 were good especially the armed robbery.

  • Been in DC for twelve years, Capitol Hill for the last five.
    -Mugging (2): both were violent; first was 100lb woman dragged into CH street 3 blocks from home causing some injuries, attacker fled when pepper sprayed; second was 190lb man attacked, beaten, and robbed by gang of youths in New Carrollton
    -Home break in (1): intruder entered through front door of CH home while family was standing there; fled upon being confronted
    -Prowler (2): men casing houses jumping fences in the alley and climbing fire escapes to look in windows
    -Car theft (1): old Jeep Cherokee stolen within a week of moving to CH
    -Car break in (4): twice were smash & grabs where we or a guest left something in view; two were smash & grabs when no items of value were in the car at all
    -Stolen bike (4): two separate incidents where locked bikes were stolen from a secured garage
    -Package thefts (lost count): so many package thefts, thank goodness for Amazon’s replacement policies

    Our house is going on the market in the next month due to all of this plus a steady (and increasing!) drumbeat of street harassment, generally menacing behavior, failing schools, and other quality of life issues.

    • Whaaaat? You must live in a different part of Capitol Hill than I do because I’ve also been there 5 years and haven’t experienced any of those things.

      • This was all at Lincoln Park.

        • Wow. I’m near Eastern Market but I go to the park all the time and thought it was a safe area.

          • At least you’ll have no trouble selling the house though!

          • Don’t be too sure. I’ve lived near Eastern Market for almost 15 years and experienced 2 muggings, one violent, and one house break-in. It’s a crap shoot in many ways, but it’s there. The violent mugging was on Penn. Ave in the middle of the day, by the way, by two of Potomac Garden’s finest. No arrests, no follow up from MPD.

  • My car was stolen in Bloomingdale in 2014. Recovered 14 days later, the only things they stole were a GPS and a toiletry bag containing tampons, an extremely cheap necklace, and a toothbrush.

  • hammers

    I’ve been very lucky. No crimes, though I have witnessed some fights and heard shots. I’m so sorry to hear of all the crimes people have suffered. Here is a funny little story of an anti-crime: A few months ago, someone bumped into my bf’s car while parallel parking, and the 6-in VW emblem plate fell out of his car, leaving a gaping hole, but otherwise no damage. A few weeks ago, he noticed that someone fit a new emblem into his car out of the blue! Someone must have had one laying around saw his need, and stuck it in there when he was parked somewhere. Thanks stranger 😀

  • In DC 6 years (4 years near Meridian Park, 2 years in LeDroit Park). Been fairly lucky.

    bikes stolen: 2
    packages stolen: too many to count

    It’s funny, when I tell others about the package thefts, they’re utterly shocked and think I live in a bad part of town but I’ve come to think of it as cost of business for urban living.

  • In DC since 2008, Hill East since 2010. 4 package thefts until we learned not to ship anything to the house and a hit and run on my car with no note (scraped up the right side with red paint).

  • I’ve lived in DC on-and-off for about 5 years, nothing major:

    1) Witnessed a guy peeing onto Florida Ave near 7th Street NW, completely exposed. Does that count as indecent exposure?
    2) My car was attempted broken-into, they managed to get the sunroof open but it was pouring that night so they must’ve gotten fed up and left. Didn’t take anything.
    3) Heard a gunshot in my neighborhood around 2:30am a few weeks ago. I live Dupont/U street. Have to say, the police were super attentive; I called 911 and the cops were at my building within 10 minutes. Asked me to come downstairs for questioning/to file an official report.
    4) Drove right past that quadruple-shooting on North Capitol last week literally right after it happened. Saw all the cop cars and ambulances rushing to the scene and NY Ave completely sectioned off. It was upsetting, but I didn’t see anything specifically/up close.

    Overall I’d say I’m very lucky, but also know how to be safe. I’m a 25-year-old woman and know not to walk around alone late at night, regardless of the neighborhood I’m in. I also ordered pepper spray for my best friend and myself to have in our bags after hearing about that 10am sexual assault on the metro a few months ago. My boyfriend lives on H Street NE, he’s super cautious, and other than witnessing some weird interaction a known drug-house across the street had with the cops, he hasn’t had anything happen over there. I’d say we’re both very fortunate.

  • I had my wallet stolen from my purse (hung on a hook beneath the bar counter) at a bar in Logan Circle in 2011. I filed a police report but never heard anything back, but the banks did refund all charges on my cards and issue me new credit cards. Luckily my driver’s license and debit card were in a different part of my purse. I also had my bike stolen around that time, but that was at my apartment in Arlington.

  • 1. The first month I moved here I was taking a cab home late at night when the driver pulled into a dark empty parking lot and tried to sexually assault me (fortunately I got away). Believe it or not, a similar thing happened a few years later.
    2. When I was living near South Capitol Street, pre Nats Stadium, I got a knock on the door one night around 11pm. I didn’t answer, but it made me nervous, so I spent the night at a friend’s. The next day I discovered a crackhead had bent the window bars and broken in.
    3. For a brief time I had an abusive boyfriend who slammed my head into a wall during a fight. It started bleeding like crazy, so a bystander called an ambulance, and the cops caught him and he spent the weekend in jail.
    4. Shortly after I bought my house someone stole the front gate, which was annoying and expensive to replace. Later someone stole a bike that I stupidly didn’t have locked up. I’ve had some package thefts, but relatively few for how many packages I get.
    Aside from the usual street harassment I think that’s it. Surprisingly nothing’s ever happened to my car even though I park on the street.

    • Jesus, those are some scary stories! I hope you never have to experience anything like that again!

      • Thanks, I actually didn’t think these were that bad! It’s crazy how many women I know that have had the first one happen to them (I boycotted cabs for a while after that but eventually came around to Uber).

  • In the 8 years I’ve been in DC, I’ve had 4 or 5 bikes stolen (lost count); 1 scooter stolen; 1 car broken into; 1 stolen fire pit; and 1 apartment broken into and a wallet stolen. In all cases, except the bikes and fire pit, MPD was called and and their response was disheartening in all cases. They either made it clear they didn’t care about my property being stolen or expressed their was no point in them looking for my stolen property. In the most recent incident (stolen scooter), the responding officers told me there was no point in them looking for it because the charges would never stick and the perp would end up back on the streets regardless. My neighbors and I saw the scooter riding around my own neighborhood on multiple occasions but MPD was still not able to recover it (and didn’t try to) so my insurance paid out. If you’re a victim of a non-violent crime in DC- you’re on your own.

    • “If you’re a victim of a non-violent crime in DC- you’re on your own.”
      That’s been my experience as well. I understand that tracking down stolen goods is difficult and probably not the best use of their resources, but the police should at least act like they care and empathize with the victim.

    • And I forgot about the package thefts, which I lost count of. The only one I remember was a package that had a clutch for my pickup in it. The thief must have been very disappointed!

  • Robbed at gunpoint, also house broken into while we were home (Capitol Hill)
    House broken into (Adams Morgan)
    Two bikes stolen (Mt Pleasant)

  • I’ve lived in NW DC (bloomingdale, shaw, le droit) for 20 years (moved here from California in August of 1996) and I have never been the victim of a crime. Nothing stolen, never robbed… annoyingly catcalled for sure, but that’s not a crime.

  • 1) 1998 Caught in gun crossfire in Anacostia at home through the window
    2) 2005 Car window smashed in attempt to break in. Tried to confront the guy while going through my car he fled and I fired a couple of shots but missed.

  • I moved to DC from Texas 12 years ago. Someone broke into my car once but, because I know to never leave anything in the car, did not get anything of value. I feel lucky, some of these stories are scary.

  • Attacked by a rabid raccoon in Palisades

    • Eek! A raccoon (the first I’ve seen in my neighborhood) ran right at me about a week ago, hissing. I managed to dive into the house and slam the door, but egads, who needs that. And I’m a raccoon fan! (Had a pet one as a kid.)

  • 1) two bikes stolen; one bike vandalized beyond recovery (why?)
    2) house broken into in Truxton Circle – gf’s purse stolen, my phone and computer stolen

  • 1) phone stolen out of my hands by a group of kids while waiting for the metro
    2) pepper sprayed in the face, also by young kids, while walking home in Columbia Heights (around 8pm on a Sunday. Nothing stolen & no lasting injuries, thankfully – though I was told another woman was mugged and punched in the head by possibly the same kids earlier that evening)

  • Just DC Water stealing money from me this month. $179 water bill for just one person who doesn’t even shower every day: WTF?

    • Make sure your toilet isn’t leaking. Turn off the water and see if the reservoir drains down. Make sure you didn’t leave it running when you went to work. Extremely common culprit.

      • Yes, something is leaking. Could be the toilet or the underground service pipe that comes from the water main to the house or apartment. I have a 3 BR house with two people who shower daily and water my lawn twice a day and I rarely break $100 a month.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Agreed. Occasionally you’ll hear of people whose water bill approaches $1000. In those instances, it is almost certainly an error unless the homeowner is just ignoring a leak that should be blatantly obvious to any sentient being. $200 is consistent with plausibly heavy usage or an easy-to-overlook leak.

          • I replaced the toilet seals and flappers about 9 months ago, surely they aren’t leaking already? How do I find out if a service pipe is leaking?

          • On the toilets: Try turning the water off at the wall and checking the tank to see if the water level remains stable.
            Were the seals you replaced the ones that adjoin the flappers, or different ones (like the wax seal between the toilet and the floor)? I had a problem this spring with a toilet that was leaking despite a new flapper. It didn’t cooperate until I bought this thingy that was a stick-on all-in-one seal and flapper, and it seems to have been behaving since then.

          • I originally typed “toilet” as my username for the above post. I LOL’d when I realized what I had done.

          • Hi Toilet,
            I mean the flapper seal. I guess it’s possible I did a poor job of sealing it but it’s not like I’ve heard water running, and previous month’s bills have been normal.

  • In DC for 9+ years, didn’t have our first package stolen until 2014 and then two were stolen in 2015 but nothing since then. Also had my wallet taken from my purse while at the New Carrollton station in 2011, but that’s not DC, just the vicinity. And the team at the station were actually helpful and looked at security footage, but we didn’t know exactly when it was taken (I was waiting there for a while) and it happened off camera at some point so a report was filed, but there wasn’t much else to be done.

  • In DC for 4 years:
    1. Package theft of low value when I lived in an apartment building in Mt. Pleasant in 2013.
    2. A housemate’s front bike wheel was stolen off my front lawn near F & 15th NE.
    3. A group of 6 teenagers cut a cable lock on my scooter in the middle of the day while we were home and while my neighbors were outside. They never touched the scooter, which had an ear-piercing alarm.
    4. A car driver got out, walked up to my boyfriend on his bicycle downtown, and punched him in the face. (MD driver, for the record). Road rage. We had to do our own stake out to get the rest of a partial plate, but with that the cops did go to MD to arrest him. Thanks, cops!

    I feel bad, but I cross the street or turn around if it’s dark and I see more than one teenager, or anyone I don’t know in my neighborhood who is age 10-30 and wearing a hoodie. I have heard enough stories of neighbors being robbed at gunpoint nearby that my safety concerns have gotten the better of me.

    • In 3 years in Chicago before this I experienced 0 crimes, in 6 years in NYC, including Harlem before it gentrified, I experienced only 1 subway groping, 1 man masturbating next to me, and a roommate had a slurpee thrown at him from a moving vehicle. DC has been a lot more trouble.

      • In DC, we had our apartment broken into they stole everything small and valuable: computers, kindle, jewelry, etc. I also had my wallet stolen from my purse in Union Station.

        We’re moving to Chicago next month and I figure it can’t be much worse so good to hear!

  • Lived at 13th and Kenyon from 2009 to 2014. Ditched my car within 2 weeks. No property crime or muggings, though my wallet was lifted from my coat pocket at Wonderland in 2010. Confronted the suspect with the help of the bouncer and was basically told by the suspect that I (white female) could afford to have my personal property stolen because I looked like I “had coins.” In hindsight, it was foolish and I wouldn’t do it now, but I used to walk to/from work at the Irving/First/Michigan hospital complex at all hours, all days of the week (armed with a disposable scalpel and unregistered Mace, of course).
    Moved to Mt. “Pregnant” in 2014, just south of RCP. The weekend we moved into our new place, a unit upstairs was burglarized. A month after, there was a car-b-que at the end of the block. My husband was punched in the head and mugged by 3 teenagers at 9pm last summer walking home from the S bus stop, within sight of our building. An insane driver threatened to hit and kill my infant and I with his pickup truck after a blizzard last winter when we had the right-of-way to cross 16th. Package theft is an ongoing issue in our building.

    • Moved here from NYC after having lived for years in San Francisco, grew up in the deep South, and traveled extensively within Europe and Asia without any incidents before living in DC.

  • 2005 & 2006 – home on T St. broken into from the back alley, but we had an alarm so they just grabbed what they could see and ran off. (no one was home at the time)

    2008 – bike seat stolen when I stupidly left it locked up outside overnight on 16th St. in CoHi.

    2012 – grabbed from behind (and then they guy ran off) when walking home with a girlfriend late at night on 11th in CoHi.

    overall feel pretty blessed that in 11 years that’s all that’s happened to me. My partner’s scooter has been stolen 3x but all 3 times he had forgotten to lock it up so I partially blame him. The third time they couldn’t hotwire it properly and we found it on our own hidden behind a clothes drop off bin literally half a block from where it had been originally parked.

    • oh I totally forgot I’ve been flashed! once was while walking to work at 6:30 in the morning. this was on 14th St. in Columbia Heights. another time was the middle of the day I was on a run down Park where it turns into Klingle/Porter next to RCP.

    • and had my wallet stolen when I was at chef Geoff’s downtown. Totally forgot about that one too. They charged bought $60 of metro cards on each of my credit cards before I was able to cancel everything.

  • Last year I was pickpocketed at a fast casual restaurant and didn’t realize until I got emails (about 30 mins later) from my credit card company. Went back to the restaurant and they caught the footage on their secruity camera. Called MPD and they actually took the investigation seriously. They kept me updated throughout the investigation, and eventually made an arrest four months later. I was subpoenaed as a witness, but once myself and a cop appeared he decided to plead guilty. During the sentencing I requested restitution, which I received promptly in the mail. I am still so surprised they caught him and makes a bad situation way less frustrating.

    • That’s so strange. I wonder what made them decide to take the particular case seriously and keep you informed. I don’t think anyone else here has had that experience.

  • -Storage unit in secure parking garage broken into-2x
    -Car driver purposefully tailing and passing within inches while riding my bike-2x
    -Car driver falsely reported to the police that I threated her (gopro video showed her parked in the bike lane and me only informing her of that fact so the police sided with me)
    -Touched inappropriately at a bar

  • Moved to brookland and within a monthhad a kid try to steal my phone out of my hands while walking home from work in broad daylight.
    Also was hit by a car in brookland while walking across the street from the metro. Car drove through red light. Luckily only got bruises. Hit and run.
    Drunk drivers have driven through our fence/yard 3 times since moving here 2 years ago.
    Roommate robbed twice while shopping in Georgetown.
    Maybe we just have bad luck?

  • In 2006 I was mugged at 7th & A NE at 10pm at night. LARGE group of juveniles (one witness said he lost count at 20?) One girl approached me with an inquisitive look on her face, thought she had a question– she instead punched me in the face. The group of friends then ran over from the other side of the street and beat me up pretty bad– kicking, punching, etc. They got my ipod. A passerby threw his bike at the group to get them off of me, and they ran away. (Still don’t know who that guy is.)

    Luckily, the Capitol Hill Police were two blocks away responding to the group’s first robbery (no violence) and heard me screaming. They caught 9 of the kids, one with my ipod on him. Most of them were sentenced to probation, a couple were placed in a group home, one was released to the custody of his grandmother in Georgia.

  • Yes, knife to throat and shotgun, plus a punch to face. Arrest made (cops did awesome work, and detectives took it seriously) but all four were 17 (one a month shy of 18) so 6 months in a boarding house, then met them on the street and they said “hey” and laughed.

  • Columbia Heights and Shaw since 2000 and *knock on wood* I’ve never had any problems. .

    • Holy sh*t, this isn’t true. I just remembered: 1) having my ATM card skimmed at the SunTrust ATM just south of Dupont Circle and 2) a contractor’s employee walked off with my pre-iPod MP3 player. The contractor paid me out of pocket for that.

  • Yes, non-violent (though both quite violating): Within a few months of each other last year, my row house had its door kicked in and robbed, midday in Mt Pleasant, and my purse was stolen from he back room of the restaurant I worked at on fourteenth street, by a random guy off the street.

    • Almost forgot – in the same restaurant, also last year, a male customer grabbed me by the back of the neck and demanded a kiss. I think that probably also counts.

  • I Dont Get It

    When I first woke up and read this on my phone, I replied No. After reading other replies I remembered that:

    1. I had a bike stolen*
    2. My car has been broken into at least 3 times over 20 years and
    3. There was a recent hit and run to my car.

    Sad that my initial reaction was that I had not been touched by crime since it was non-violent.

    *Someone also stole a 40 pound bag of dirt from my front yard once. This was so long ago that it was from Hechingers. I was always sorry I didn’t catch the thief in the act just to see him try to run with a $2.99 40 pound bag of dirt.

    Sad that

    • Even people who don’t live in cities have their things stolen or anonymously damaged every now and then. I can see why you didn’t consider those initially even though they are crimes; they’re just a sad part of life.
      I had a bag of mulch in my front yard for a few days recently and I was mildly concerned about it being stolen. Maybe that wasn’t such a crazy thought!

      • I’ve wondered/worried the same thing about bags of mulch… but the dollar value is so low that I don’t think they’re worth stealing for resale. And I suspect the Venn diagram of “thieves” and “avid gardeners” doesn’t have much overlap.

  • saf

    4 burglaries (PW), one car break-in (in Bethesda).

  • I’ve had a bike stolen, but it 10 years ago when I had first moved to DC and had naively locked up my bike with a cheap cable lock.

  • Been in NW DC for 11 years now.
    Car break-ins: 2005, near 9:30 club. 2014, Fuller off of 16th.
    Home burglary: 2008, DuPont circle.
    Hit and run (SO): 2016, mt Vernon.

  • Car stolen
    Guy masturbating next to me on metro
    And of course, package theft!

  • First time living in DC, Columbia Heights, 2002-2003: No problems. I mean, my car was egged as I was driving home on Halloween, but the biggest concern from that was that the kids who did it got a little too far out into the street and I was afraid I would hit them. I was honestly tempted to stop and give them advice on how to get up to their mischief safely (when I was 12, the police visited my house because they received complaints that my brother and I were “causing a traffic hazard” because there was construction up the street from our house and we decided it would be fun to “attack” cars stuck in the back-up with our Super Soakers…I find neither my childish actions nor egging of random cars passing by a “crime”).
    Moved back in 2007. Since then:
    2009, Capitol Hill: attempted burglary, daytime. Scared the perp off when I went to see what the noise at my window was. Massive police response, but all the police ultimately did was stop someone who was black and walking about 6 blocks away and drive me by for an ID, but otherwise didn’t even come CLOSE to the description I gave them (I stared him square in the face for at least 10 seconds, so I gave them a *detailed* description) and then nothing else. Yes, I did tell the cops that they were very off-base by stopping someone so different from my description, but it was clear they didn’t really register that by the questions they then asked me. I described the perp as a tall, thin, young black man, 16-20 but I’d be surprised if he was over 18, with light skin, a “tight” haircut, no facial hair, wearing a thin winter jacket like a North Face or Columbia and carrying a green and gray backpack with a criss-cross bungee cord on the front of it; they stopped a dark-skinned black man with a beard, bald head, and a slight paunch, about 35 years old, wearing a puffy jacket and carrying a black backpack with no bungee on the front. Sigh.
    2011, Brentwood: Came home and while checking my mail heard a weird noise. Against my better judgement, wrote it off and unlocked my door anyway. That scared the burglars in my house off (I stopped when I heard them running). They got my laptop and ancient iPod, but were obviously in the process of unhooking my TV. The police were there within 90 seconds and seemed to do a good job, calling in a crime scene tech and encouraging me to go somewhere else for the night until I could get the broken window fixed (I declined noting that they’d probably come back if they thought no one was home, but I did sleep on the couch with all the lights on and my phone 2″ from my hand that night). A detective called me for follow-up a few days later.
    2011, Brentwood (3 weeks later): Came home, put a leftover dinner in the microwave, and turned around to find my TV gone. They came back. Same deal with the police (quick response, crime scene called, detective follow-up). Kicker was my alarm system was awaiting the install at that point. Game of “too slow,” I guess.
    2014, Brookland: A car beeped repeatedly in the alley outside my new home late at night, and when I got up in the window to yell at them to knock off the beeping, I saw someone get out of the car, scale our fence, and run up to our back building door. I called 911 while making sure my unit door was locked, crating my dog for his safety (I did not have a dog in 2011), and pulling out my pepper spray and bat in case of a home invasion/attempted. I informed the 911 operator that this was a controlled-access building, so the responding officers should dial my unit number in the call box out front and I would let them in. 20 minutes later, I called 911 again to find out where the police were, and was told they would check. 5 minutes later, I got a call that the police were *now* outside, but couldn’t get in. I took my bat and pepper spray, locked my door behind me, ran to the front door as fast as I could, and the responding police were confused. They told me they had been dispatched for a non-emergency call of a suspicious person, so why was I at the door with multiple weapons and seemingly flustered? I told them exactly what I had told the 911 operator – someone scaled our back fence and ran up to the back door, seemingly trying to pry it open. I didn’t know if they got in or not since I don’t have an unobstructed view of the back door from my unit. They said, in so many words, “holy s***, these two will take you back to your unit so you can lock yourself back inside, and we other two will start clearing the building,” and entered the building with guns drawn. Ultimately, the perp didn’t get in. A follow-up email to our Commander revealed that the 911 operator coded the call as a non-emergency “because the caller didn’t sound scared.”
    It’s not so much that I no longer trust the police so much as I don’t trust the system. I called a couple weeks ago about a seemingly intoxicated woman stumbling down the middle of the street, and the police responded before I even took my dog in from his 5 minute “last call” pee break. But 25 minutes non-emergency for an attempted B&E in progress because I don’t “sound scared?” Right…

  • Bike Stolen-U St area 2009
    Robbery Snatch gone wrong-turn to violent-near Petworth Metro 2011
    Pick pocket/wallet stolen at Old Ebbitt week of Christmas 2014
    visiting friends’ cars broken in to a couple of times.

Comments are closed.