“this is bad movie trope ridiculous.”

5th and Q St, NW

A reader reports from Shaw:

“This happened last night [Tuesday] on a very well lot corner surrounded by homes. The uptick in crime in Shaw is ridiculous in general, but this is bad movie trope ridiculous.”

Ed. Note: Sadly this is not the first, second, third or fourth time we’ve seen a scene like this over the years.

43 Comment

  • Gosh, maybe folks are upset that their neighborhood is being taken over by Ditto developments and 10 dollar coffee cafes. I don’t condone messing with people’s property, but the crime uptick is hardly a mystery.

    • newsflash– when you justify theft based on gentrification, you are condoning messing about with people’s property.

    • ??but the crime uptick is hardly a mystery?? Not sure what you mean here?

    • Are you under the impression that Shaw had less criminal and property crimes prior to the more recent gentrification? (*He asks sarcastically*)

      • Yea, Kate seems to be woefully misinformed.

        • Hi, didn’t I say that I don’t condone messing with people’s property? My point is that the gentrification is no doubt bringing out some tensions. Anyway, you’re welcome to disagree and I”m not looking for a fight. I’m simply stating a theory based on living here for a long time–including two years about a block from that location. I’m also sorry that person’s car was messed up. Lose the car–you”ll be happy you did.

          • Lose the car? What if that person needs to drive to work outside the city in a place not metro-accessible?

          • Yeah, I’m sure the price of coffee is a key decision point when people decide whether or not to commit crime. That’s why there was no crime in Shaw fifteen years ago.

          • Thanks for clearing up your initial statement. I myself totally misread it.

            This happened in Bloomingdale last week.

          • Accountering

            You are clearly looking for a fight, by arguing that people are committing crime in shaw because they are upset about gentrification.

          • You seem like a really likable person.

    • Wheels were stolen off an Accord over in Georgetown (Georgetown!) a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think we can blame that on recent gentrification.

    • Yes, let’s continue to provide excuses for those committing crimes in the community instead of actively holding them accountable for their actions…Attitudes like this only embolden criminals. I guarantee you that whoever did this wouldn’t think twice about doing the same to you, no matter how sympathetic you are to their “plight”

    • Lol Kate how do you know the car belonged to a wealthy white person? And how do you know the thieves were from the neighborhood? Even if they were, ever consider that these folks were stealing tires long before newcomers entered the neighborhood? Honestly, assuming you are not a troll, your post was one of the most sanctimonious, holier than thou, dumb posts I have ever read on this blog.

  • A very basic question: How do they do something that looks like it takes a while and must make some noise without drawing attention?

    Also — balancing the cars on cinderblocks somehow oddly always makes it look like they’ve taken such care…

    • Noisy, probably. Time consuming, absolutely not. A couple of guys with cordless impact drivers and a good jack could do this in a couple of minutes. Chances are they are pros, this wasn’t a crime of opportunity (had scouted the car ahead of time).

      • YUP. The wheels and tires were stolen off my 10 year old Jetta when I was in college in Indiana. Cops said it was likely a group of guys who spotted the car around town, figured out where I parked, and had the wheels off in a matter of minutes one night.

        It was a major bummer when I came out the next morning to drive to work…

    • I asked my step-dad about this once (he’s a mechanic). Apparently, the crews that do this are very quick, very efficient. They have the same types of tools as you would see in a nascar race (the things that I don’t know the name of to remove the bolts, the types of jacks that are automatic not crank type that I also don’t know the name of…). They work in teams of at least two. Jack the car up on all sides, remove tires (mostly for the rims) and leave. It’s faster to jack the entire car up and remove the wheels than to do it one at a time, which is why you see the cars left on cinder blocks. Once you start using the tools for removing the wheels, you might cause some noise, so you want to be able to get out quick. It’s not out of any sort of courtesy to the owner.

  • get a job, work hard, and then buy your own damn wheels. quit stealing, and quit trying to shoot everyone.

  • That One Guy

    There’s been an uptick in wheel thefts up and down the 95 corridor in VA. It almost makes me think all things old are new again because I thought wheel thefts were a crime from the 80s.

  • If you go to DC Crime maps, and put in the 500 block of Q street NW within 1000ft, there are 192 crime year to date compared to 203 last year within the same time frame. Maybe people are not reporting or recording the crimes.

  • In a life filled with poor decisions, I can say that insisting on enclosed off-street parking when I bought my house in this area was not one of them.

  • Side note… am I the only one bothered by the habitual use of “uptick” when discussing crime in DC. To me the term communicates that it’s really just a statistical blip… nothing to worry about.

    • I’m admittedly not an alarmist but my understanding is there isn’t even an uptick.
      Overall, crime is down; however, the murder rate is up with shootings remaining stable, it is like people suddenly became much better shots, more people being killed in the same number of shootings. YTD data shows the murder rate down from last year which is what you would expect given the anomalous numbers in 2015.

      • I live on this block, and have for over ten years. I can assure you there is an uptick in crime.

        In the last three weeks we’ve had a holdup (w/gun) at noon on a sunny tuesday, a violent assault and robbery of an older man in front of his own house, a mugging (w/gun) of a couple on a well-lit sidewalk immediately in front of homes (with occupants present who heard the commotion) on 5th street, multiple car break-ins (some during daylight hours), and of course relentless package thefts (we’ve grown accustom to these in the last two years). This is by no means an exhaustive list.

        The frequency and boldness of crimes taking place in this part of Shaw in the past month beats out the last ten years here. As far as I know there have not been any shootings in the last few months in this area. Thank goodness for that.

        I love my neighbors and my neighborhood dearly. I am more concerned now about crime in this area than I’ve ever been before.

    • “To me the term communicates that it’s really just a statistical blip”

      Well, because, for all we know, it is a statistical blip. I know you’ll say its not – but crime isnt up in all areas, only in aggregate across the city and its not up that much over the last 2 years and its still down over the past 5-7. So…. uptick is the appropriate word. but gold star on knowing the meaning.

  • proximity to housing projects = higher crime rate. Its been that way for decades. Nothing new.

  • Would be interested to know if this car had flashy rims….or just ho-hum stock rims. Both have a market.
    Glad my old-ass Subaru has the most generic rims ever.

  • I once lived in the house in the picture. After two people got shot basically on my front steps I decided maybe it was time to move. City living… Take the good with the bad.

  • This happened to my coworker’s car in her driveway out in Reston. The cops out there said they have been having a big problem.

  • So let’s try and move the ball forward here: What solutions should we be thinking about for this and for crimer generally? Cameras?

    I doubt an enhanced police presence would catch these guys but some sort of Neighbourhood Camera Watch might act as a deterent. I think I’d be OK privacy-wise with camera’s monitoring the street and holding the images for a limited time.

    • “I think I’d be OK privacy-wise with camera’s monitoring the street and holding the images for a limited time.”
      This is maybe tangential to your point, but the street is a public place so I don’t think there’s any issue with privacy here. It might make people uncomfortable but anyone can point a camera at a public place and hit the record button. Also, I think this is precisely what the city is trying to encourage with their security camera rebate program – the more people that have security cameras on their house, the more likely it is that there will be video evidence catching bad guys doing bad things.

  • Do the tires end up in the “used” tire section of those places say up GA Ave? I recently replaced a couple tires with used ones (inexpensive, never drive outside the city) and this got me thinking – am I riding on stolen rubber?

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