Washington, DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu

Ed. Note: Crime is a very serious issue and you can see that in our daily posts. Having streets smarts will not guarantee your safety though they are important.

Tarnishing entire neighborhoods in the so called pursuit and guise of safety is not at all helpful or fair.

Thanks to the dozens of people who alerted me to this incident.

Apparently a WUSA news van was broken into while investigating a so called Sketchy neighborhood – in this case Petworth:

Ironically, the burglary occurred while the crew was working on a story about an app that alerts people of “sketchy” neighborhoods.

The crew had locked their news van on a street in Petworth in Northwest, D.C. while they were out in the neighborhood conducting interviews. When they returned they found the lock had been popped out of the door of their news van, and that the most of the crew’s gear had been stolen.

First let me say – I’m very sorry this happened. It sucks. Second let me say that I’m not intending to blame the victim here. What happened truly does suck. What I’m upset about is the seeming implication that this incident validates Petworth being a “sketchy” neighborhood. That and that alone is the issue I have. To combat this misconception I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that the Ben and Sylvia Gardner foundation have agreed to fund the development of a yokel app. Until that happens let me say a few more things and offer some advice:

First car break ins happen all over the District. Just ask our friends in the beautiful Cleveland Park neighborhood that deal with incidents like this on what seems like a weekly if not daily basis (if you follow their listserv.) Seriously, car break ins happen all over and the one thing we are repeatedly told by MPD and others is to never leave bags with or with out valuables in your car. It’s just not a smart thing to do – ever. Anywhere. Sadly, even in the middle of the day. Even in a beautiful, tree lined neighborhood like Petworth.

So here is some other advice that will be captured in the coming yokel app that we’ve gathered over the years:

2. Don’t leave your bike unlocked whilst you stop in to Starbucks for a coffee. Best to lock up your bike everywhere. Yes that includes places like Petworth.
3. When leaving an ATM don’t stop at the corner and take out your money to count it.
4. Similarly don’t walk home with $100 bills hanging out of your pockets.
5. Speaking of walking home, don’t walk home piss drunk from the bars signing Meatloaf’s I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) this behavior almost always attracts that unsavory element stalking our city.
6. Speaking of singing, don’t have your earbuds/headphones on and text on your smart phone late at night (really even not so late at night.)
7. When pregnant you should not smoke.
8. When taking ambien you should not operate heavy machinery.
9. And most importantly if you have more than 15 items don’t use the express lanes at the grocery store. Please I’m begging you!!!


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