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Dear PoP – “incident of bag (or something) snatching at Columbia Heights metro”

by Prince Of Petworth February 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm 13 Comments

Ghosts in the Metro Light
Photo by PoPville flickr user Bogotron

“Dear PoP,

I saw someone’s bag/ipod/something get snatched by some kids at the Columbia Heights metro and thought to email you if you want to post it. This took place on the train, and a little before the doors closed, the kid/s (pretty sure it was more than one) grabbed the bag/whatever from her and ran. She actually reacted pretty quickly and ran after them, and I’m happy to report that some other people on the train tried to help by shouting out the door to stop the kids. I don’t know what happened but the train did sit there for a little longer than I would normally expect, so maybe they succeeded in getting the attention of the driver or station people and they stopped the kids.

I thought it was nice to see people try and help, and really not everyone would think of that, or be willing to yell out the door even if they did.

The woman left behind a plastic bag with a few dishes in it – I hope she got her bag back and I can’t imagine she’s too concerned about getting back what’s in this bag, especially if she didn’t get the other bag back, but in case she’s reading some of us from the train left it at the Georgia Ave/Petworth metro office. I’d also be curious to hear what happened if any of your readers was there – this happened between 6-7pm Thursday.

Take care (and watch your bags on the metro!)”

  • AKW

    Why is the trouble always at Columbia Heights, Between the snatchers, the kids begging for the “boys and girls club” and the overpriced crappy candy sellers, that metro is the 9th ring of hell.

  • Anonymous

    is it just me, or has there been an uptick of these snatch and runs on the metro lately. maybe it’s become a fad at school. one kid does it, then everyone else copies him.

    could metro please please please post more copes in and around the stations.

  • grumpy

    @Anonymous – it’s not your imagination, thefts of small electronic devices in particular are on the rise in the Metro system: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/crime/Robberies-on-Metro-system-skyrocket-82967982.html

  • local

    Thieves gravitate toward target-rich environments. That’s bad news for you, scenesters!

  • John Galt

    FYI – last Thursday – 10 days ago or so – I was walking down to U St and right in front of busboys and poet’s i saw a girl get her phone snatched right out of her hand. It happenned so fast I just couldn’t react.
    There were three young males with bandanas over their faces. The one kid snatched the phone and ran around the corner down W (or V), the other two just kind of acted like they didn’t know what was happenning but watching to see if anyone was going to chase the “snatcher”. Beware any group of kids walking around with bandanas over their faces like 1800’s Wild West bank robbers.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      How about just beware any group of young kids, period.
      Sad to say, but they way things are going in CH/U Street, it just seems like the best defense is to go on hyper-alert when there are groups of high school-aged kids around.

      I’m glad people tried to help on the metro.

  • what’s the deal with the face masks & bandannas? they’re illegal in NYC. it’s not THAT cold here, for pete’s sake!

    • FG Sanford

      Whatever you do, don’t try to catch the kids – especially if you’re white, haha.

      • Lamont the Dummy

        Perhaps white women could just start snagging stuff out of the hands of the young punk bandits before they themselves become targets. Or better yet, give them awesome wedgies, wouldn’t that be great.

        The kids sure do seem to really enjoy terrorizing residents and guests of this city. It’s almost comical, certainly for the kids involved. Do they aspire to become street legends or are they just showing off to their friends?

  • AJL

    I’ve seen two iPhone grad-and-runs on the metro in the last few weeks. Last night at Shaw/Howard University a kid grabbed an iPhone right out of a girl’s hand as the train doors were closing, and jumped on the train before she could get through the doors to follow him. A few weeks ago it happened a Foggy Bottom. I was on a train and another kid stepped on when the doors opened, looked aroudn to see who was an easy target, grabbed the phone and ran off the train before the girl could run off to follow him. Don’t walk around freely with anything valuable in your hand. It’s so easy to just grab and run.

  • Cynic

    Someone needs to do something about all these white kids terrorizing the local population.

  • Scott

    I was on this train and can confirm that one of the kids was caught by the metro police officer. It was a pretty sweet takedown. Despite the yells of “stop them,” no one actually did anything to impede their exit. As the last one was jumping the turnstile the metro police officer exited his station, gave pursuit and tackled the slow kid into the tunnel wall. He didn’t have whatever was stolen. He was handed off to the other metro officer on duty and the tackling metro officer went in pursuit of the other boys/kids/teenagers/thugs(?). They were long gone. 15 minutes later as I was exiting target and heading home several police cars had arrived. The kid was in cuffs the victim was IDing him. Not sure what he could be charged with if he didn’t have the goods. I’m guessing they try to scare the crap out of him so he rats out his friends. Kudos to the linebacker metro officer. He should tryout for the Redskins.

  • The one who emailed PoP

    Wow – that is pretty impressive, and a little surprising that one kid was caught. Thanks for sharing that.

    Bummer for the woman who lost something and probably didn’t get it back, but I have to say it makes me feel better that people actually reacted. You hear so much about people doing nothing… maybe this is misplaced pride in a neighborhood I haven’t lived in a full year yet, but I just don’t think anything would have happened if this had taken place in Bethesda or something!

    In the end it is probably better that some random metro rider didn’t try and grab any running kids. They should be caught and face consequences of course but better if it’s someone who knows what they are doing catching them…


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