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Public Safety August 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Theft in Progress, No DCPD Response

I would like to share my recent encounter (or lack thereof) with the DCPD to see if others have experienced the same lack of response to a crime in progress.

On Friday, after having lunch with a friend in Dupont Circle, I decided to finish the workday at the Starbucks in said Circle. Upon entering the store, I spotted a single vacant table and immediately placed my backpack on the chair to reserve it while I ordered my drink. When I returned less than five minutes later my backpack was gone. I asked the adjacent table if they had seen who took the bag and they were able to tell me on which street the thief had fled. I followed their limited directions and was about to concede when I spotted a man wearing my distinctive backpack walking down New Hampshire Avenue. I didn’t approach the man – not so much out of fear – but because I didn’t want him to run and disappear with my property. I instead called 911 and thus, my disappointment began.

The dispatcher, though polite, sounded surprised when I told her that I was in hot pursuit. As I followed at an inconspicuous distance, I updated the her on the thief’s location every few seconds; she assured me that a unit was on the way. About 10 minutes into the call we reached 14th and P, where the man entered the bus bay heading South. There were no police anywhere in sight. The bus came, the man boarded, and against the dispatcher’s advice I followed him onto the bus. She told me that the call had been transferred to Metro PD and they would stop the bus and apprehend him.

Five minutes later we arrived at K St where the man disembarked and walked to another bus bay heading East. At some point during the 10 minutes we were stopped at this location the dispatcher told me that an officer was on the scene. The officer never arrived. The thief boarded a Circulator bus but this time I did not follow; I hailed a nearby taxi and asked it to follow the bus.

While in the taxi, the dispatcher told me that she was transferring me to her supervisor. I asked the supervisor to tell me the location of the dispatched unit, which she could not. She explained that because I had crossed district lines she had to transfer the call to another unit. She further explained that it was difficult for officers to locate me because I was moving. She advised that I flag down any officer that I happened across during my pursuit across the city.

About 7 minutes later the man exited the bus and I exited the taxi at 5th and Mass. I followed him for about 5 minutes to an apartment building at New Jersey Avenue, where he disappeared inside. If you’ve been counting, I had been on the call with 911 for approximately 37 minutes. The supervisor offered an officer to come to the scene and take a report. Thus ended the call. The officer never came.

Is it DCPD policy to ignore thefts, even when they’re in progress? Or is DCPD simply incompetent? The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if this is a ploy to build demand for police services. At the very least, I’ve learned that no one will speak up when they witness your property being stolen at a coffee shop. How sad.

Happy ending: I ended up getting my bag back because the thief saw me in front of the building, got scared, and sent his mother to return the bag to me.

Public Safety May 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Meet the Police of 302 / Columbia Heights Tomorrow @ 7PM

I have attended the last several PSA (Police Service Area) 302 meetings, most have only 1 attendee -me. Last month, it was a better meeting/discussion as @ 10 people from my building attended as well.

I have lived in DC for 20+ years and it wasn’t until a few years ago I found out there were community-police meetings. There is no mass blast from the MPD that residents could sign up for or an easy way on their website to find out about said meetings. I am hoping this forum post might serve as a “MASS BLAST” & publicize the PSA meeting for the Columbia Heights/302 neighborhood that is for tomorrow night @ 7PM.

More attendees garner more attention to specific neighborhood issues – I have included the PSA 302 map [Basically, 16th St. NW – east to Park Place NW; and Monroe St. NW – south to Harvard St. NW]

Third District Station
1620 V Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Thanks and I hope I see some of my fellow Popvillers there. 🙂

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Governement and Politics January 11, 2016 at 4:57 pm

If DC wants to stop small time crime, they need to stop crime "wasp nests" first

In my neighborhood there is a wasp nest. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week people exit and enter. There are often lookouts pacing up and down the block ready to alert people inside that cops are coming. Some even peer at their phones as if they have a means of early warning for when police are coming. I get random people at a ll times of day leaving trash in front of my house, and pissing on my basement steps, even though they know I live there.

Ambulances have been to this particular house on many occasions to treat people who overdose regularly… Why the activity at this house hasn’t stopped is beyond me, but one thing’s for sure, it’s a magnet for almost all the crime activity in our area, it’s obviously a wasp nest…

Neighbors are too scared to confront people as they smoke weed on the streets, and quite often, groups of kids congregate and sell drugs and litter in broad daylight while moms walk down the street with baby strollers… Heck, there’s even a school nearby with young children, but somehow the Bowser administration and Chief Lanier have no clue that this is going on in so many neighborhoods in DC, and even in NW DC, which didn’t have this kind of activity just 2 years ago.

I own my house, as any other people do, I can’t imagine how I’d sell with people hanging out all day in front of it, as this kind of activity drives home values down. This also makes me think that someone has an interest in leaving negative activity in my neighborhood to do just that. Lucky for me, I’m not selling right now, but it makes me wonder why this situation is perpetuated when I get pulled over by cops for just walking home, or for talking to a friend on the side of the street?

More recently, patrons and possibly residents of the house I’ve cited have been more aggressively hanging out in my living space, asking me questions when I’m outside, such as “Are you renting?” and for spare change… They even do drugs in my front yard, and obviously exchange drugs and cash in plain eyesight. This is not acceptable. If cops truly patrolled the streets, and if there were undercover police operations in my neighborhood, this drug house would have been closed over a year ago. Also, stiffer sanctions need to be placed on landlords that regularly rent to people who are later convicted of crimes. The landlord is very cognizant that illegal activity is happening in their property, they may even be involved in it as far as I know.

I think it’s long overdue for citizens to demand more from DC government in all neighborhoods of DC. The surge in petty crime is growing into much more serious offenses and it’s eventually going to start affecting the lives of more innocent people. DC needs to institute more operations to end drug dens (wasp nests) and carry it out in a fair and transparent manner. It is not acceptable any more for the local government to say they are “working on a solution”. The only reason why crime rates are temporarily on the decline is the colder weather, if nothing new is done, we’ll experience an even bigger surge next summer. I think this situation is coddled by a lack of neighborhood/community enforcement and foot patrols and too much reliance on speed cameras as an enforcement angle of policing. Cameras only monitor, they do not deter other crimes, nor do they catch perps. Revenue generating cameras are not a good solution for crime enforcement overall, especially citing the sheer amount of money we pay in taxes for services that law enforcement is bound to supply to us as DC residents. I hope we as citizens grow to expect more for our adherence to the law and tax payments.

Public Safety December 1, 2015 at 7:25 pm

"At least we got the bad guy."

Overheard a group of police officers talking about a police accident that closed Monroe St. at 16th for several hours this afternoon/evening. A cruiser was a few yards into the street but with the driver’s door bent all the way forward against the front side of the cruiser and up against a parked car. Later overhead other officers passing by say the cop driving forgot to put the car in park before exiting to chase a suspect and the car rolled back into the parked car.

“At least we got the bad guy.”

Public Safety November 17, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Police activity at 12th and T NW

11/17/2015 at approx 12:30pm

I counted six MPD police cars on 12th Street NW, between S and T (Garrison Elementary School nearby). The cops were heavily armed, running towards a house, while others surrounded a nearby alleyway.

I’m curious if anyone has details on the incident.

Announcements December 27, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Mayor-Elect Bowser’s Letter To Petworth Addressing Recent Surge In Violence

Dear Petworth,

The violence of the last few days is unacceptable – no resident should expect to live in fear in Washington, DC.

I am monitoring the situation closely and am in constant contact with Chief Lanier and Commander Manlapaz, who oversee the 4th District.

This evening, the Chief concluded the evening and committed to roll call in Ward 4, and additional foot patrols in the Ward– with a focus on well-known hot spots. Additional resources have been deployed since Christmas Eve and there are more to come.

Tonight, I will tour the Ward with the Commander to ensure deployment of resources.
On Monday, the Chief and her team will provide a full briefing to me from the MPD headquarters, where I will review their immediate action plan to stop violence before it starts.

As always, please be mindful of your surroundings and if you see something, say something.


Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser
(202) 491-4842

Announcements August 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Help! My Bike Was Stolen! + A Love Letter

…I know this might be a futile effort, but just hoping that the good of the internet can help keep their eyes peeled.

I left my bike locked in front of my office (M st Between 16 & 17) last night because I left my bike lights at home and I didn’t want to ride home in the dark. This AM my good ol’ faithful was missing — the Ulock had been cut by a person with superpowers or some nefarious device. Perhaps it was poofed like the 3% of the earth’s population on HBO’s The Leftovers. But I’m just not willing to accept that.

This. The bike that got me through years of art school, the bike that got me from downtown to my home in midtown one-hundred-million times, the bike that took me from Georgia to North Carolina on the dirty, shittily paved roads of the southern stretches of 95. The brakes are loose and the gears are a little weird by now, but hell, I’m so pathetically in love with the thing I’d even buy it back. “Just shut up and take my money,” I’ll say.

I’m sorry I always talked about how I didn’t like your sporty appearance because I do. I’m sorry for that one time that I rode you around the coastal highways too much and you got rust from the salty air. I’m sorry I left you behind that weekend and cheated on you with another bike, but mostly I’m just sorry that your gone. Please come back.

PS. I love you.

The bike is a Specialized green and white “Vita” hybrid, 27″ spoke wheels, thumb shift, quick release, gel seat for anyone who cares to help! I would GREATLY appreciate it.

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Public Safety August 17, 2014 at 3:14 am

Police taser man at New York Ave./Museum of Women in the Arts

Does anyone know more about the incident that took place on Friday, August 15? It took place around 6 or 6:30 pm, I think, on the west side of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, at the intersection of H St, NW and New York Ave.

I didn’t see how it started, but I saw about a dozen police officers in a semi-circle, surrounding a man on that side of the museum. There were several police cars nearby. The police had shut down the intersection temporarily, even though it was still rush hour (or maybe a little after). The man appeared to be African American, maybe homeless. He was not wearing a shirt, but he was wearing pants of some sort. I was too far away to see more details and I couldn’t hear what he was yelling.

The police seemed very concerned. The officers in the semi-circle distracted the man as another officer approached with a taser. The man still wouldn’t quiet down. The the officer tagged him with the taser. The man became as stiff as a board and fell over into a large streetlight/pole.

A crowd of onlookers had gathered across the street, with at least a few people filming the scene with their smartphones. People in nearby buildings could also see the confrontation. I’ve spoken with several people who saw part of the incident. But no one saw what started the standoff, or why the police were so concerned. I don’t believe the man was armed, but he could have been making some sort of threat, or going after pedestrians. Or maybe something happened inside the museum? He was standing in front of the side exit. This is all speculation, since I didn’t see what happened before the police arrived.

None of the local news sites have any info about the incident. Surprising, considering how many people saw it (at least 20-30 people) and some people took video with their phones.

Public Safety April 19, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Calling the police on homeless men smoking crack?

I live in a condo building that overlooks an alley. I have witnessed homeless men smoking crack on a few occasions and felt conflicted about calling the police. I mean, if I were homeless, I’d probably want to be in a numb state, too. If I call the police and they get arrested, they end up getting thrown in jail and doesn’t solve the problem. If I let them be, I have crackheads in my alley. The other day, I yelled at them that I already called the police (which I didn’t) and they thanked me and moved on. What’s your opinion?

Auto March 5, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Hit and run. Police are no help. Advice needed, details inside.

My car was smashed from behind in a hit and run last weekend in Lanier Heights. Luckily 2 witnesses saw the person do it and left me a note with the plate number. I filed a police report that night, but the police have refused to give me any information about the other driver, despite a hit and run being an arrest-able offense in DC.

On my way to the police station to try to get more information, I found the car that hit mine. I wrote down the VIN, registration number, make, model description, registration number and the number for the ticket that was sitting on the windshield. I also left a note with my contact information and letting them know that there were witnesses and that the police are involved.

My concern is this: I cannot find out any more information about the other driver (or more importantly, their insurance) despite all of the information that I have. The police are telling me that unless the actual owner of the car was the one to hit my car, there is nothing they can do.

Does anyone have experience with this? Are there any other avenues I can pursue legally to get this person to cover their damages?

Viewing 10 topics - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)