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“Over the course of the next few weeks some of us may see pink “tickets” on our vehicles.”

by Prince Of Petworth April 28, 2016 at 1:00 pm 51 Comments


From MPD:

“Over the course of the next few weeks some of us may see pink “tickets” on our vehicles. Officers will be looking for any vehicle found with items in plain view or with doors unlocked. Any vehicle they find will be given one of the Warning: Notice of Infraction “tickets”. These are not actual tickets, though they appear to be, they are educational and meant to be reminders.”

  • Neighbor

    Dear citizens: we have given up entirely on protecting the city from crime and will now dedicate our time exclusively to victim blaming and ticketing cyclists. Basically if anything happens to you, it’s your fault for trusting us.

    • Ryan

      MPD was in fact out ticketing cyclists in the 15th street bike lane this week between Penn and the Treasury for “running” red lights that DDOT has stated are not the traffic control devices for the lane (since the bike lane instead has “Stop for Ped” signage).

      They could have chosen to spend their time ticketing/warning the too many cyclists who don’t adequately yield to peds there, but instead they decided to forge ahead with writing tickets for phantom violations.

    • KenyonDweller

      Spare me the victim-blaming rhetoric. These are property crimes not sexual assaults. If you leave a laptop in your backseat and someone smashes your window and grabs it, there is virtually no way the cops are going to solve the crime. In my view, everyone, including the cops, might appropriately point out that you’re an idiot for not taking reasonable steps to protect your property.

      • anon

        your righteous indignation is cute but inappropriate here. leaving a pink slip disguised as a ticket is not a friendly reminder and it’s not up to us to help the cops solve crimes — that’s their job, for which we pay them through our taxes. it’s not a stretch logically or using common sense to extend the argument against blaming sexual assault victims to victims of theft. think about things a lil bit before the tirade next time bud…

        • dcd

          This has zero to do with solving crimes, and everything to do with preventing crimes – also a proper police function. No one’s asking you to “help the cops solve crimes” – they’re asking you to use some common sense to prevent the crime in the first place. (Although I’m also puzzled by your vehement insistence that “it’s not up to us to help the cops solve crimes” – it’s not a legal duty, but it’s certainly being a good citizen.) I am hard pressed to figure how reminders to auto owners to not leave items visible in their cars equates to, “the police have given up, they’ll now let all criminals go unpunished.”

          • Timebomb

            Those who take issue with “victim-blaming” are upset that we don’t imprison people indefinitely for every small infraction starting at like age 5. That’s basically what they’re getting at. They probably did get the memo that this leads to huge social justice problems, but they thought the memo was political correctness.
            Trump 2016, I guess.

    • Considering the number of new residents who move into DC from Podunk, Nowheresville and leave their laptop in the back of their unlocked car, to only later write into sites like PoPville how they can’t believe something like this would happen, I’m all for warning the populace who might be otherwise ignorant. I can’t imagine the same officers staffed with passing these out are the ones who would otherwise be operating undercover drug stings.

  • curious

    Nice gesture but I’m not sure this is the best use of the cops’ time.

  • Anonymouse

    I like how law abiding citizens are now being reprimanded, in the form of faux traffic citations, for simply exercising their right to leave their items in plain view within their own cars. Blaming the victim much? How about pursue car break-ins and punish actual criminals? Thanks.

    • anonymous

      I knew someone was gonna come shouting “victim blaming”.

      • anon 2

        i knew someone was gonna come ignorantly and thoughtlessly dismissing these reasonable statements as “victim blaming.”

    • What part of warning equals blaming to you? No crime has theoretically occurred here yet, thus no victim. If McDonald’s warns you that your coffee is hot do you get offended at them infringing upon your right to be an idiot and burn yourself?

      • Anonymouse

        It’s blaming because the warning is in the form of a traffic citation. MPD could have chosen literally **any piece of paper** to educate motorists, and yet, for some reason, decided on the **one** piece of paper that you get when you violate the law. What does this imply that MPD thinks of the people who receive these faux citations?
        But yeah, as others noted — MPD may as well just tack a sign onto your car saying “Hey, this one is unlocked and there is stuff inside! Have at it!”

        • JohnH

          Maybe so you’ll actually pay attention to it?
          I get stuff put on my windshield all the time that I just throw away. If it looks like something you should actually pay attention to, maybe people will! Geesh.

          • textdoc

            Agreed — it’s to make people pay attention.

        • [rrrrr]

          Pretty sure the idea is that it should be disguised as something other than a warning. I was in Cincinnati where they did this with big yellow flyers, and some enterprising crooks took those as helpful hints at which cars they should target. Presumably the hope is that thieves will ignore these as tickets, drivers will actually notice them, and the world has slightly fewer shitty things happening.
          I’m pretty ambivalent on these programs overall. But this “victim blaming” nonsense is ridiculous. If you’re precious psyche can’t handle a reminder about common sense, you should probably have never left the bunker.

    • dcd

      I think they should take it a step further, and have a big, “DUMB*SS” printed on the back of every “ticket.”

  • THinDC

    Ok, I get the thought behind this, but won’t this just help criminals figure out which cars to target?

    • BS

      THIS. These will act as “ROB ME” signs. Someone didn’t think this brilliant plan all the way through.

      • PettyShabazz

        Doesn’t leaving your laptop visible in your car scream “ROB ME PLEASE, I BEG YOU”

    • BS

      THIS. These notices will act as advertisements. Someone didn’t think this brilliant plan all the way through.

    • Brightwoodian

      Thank you. That was the first thing I thought of when I read this. This is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard of.

    • I thought this too, but given how many cars are ticketed in DC regularly I can’t imagine the criminals are going behind officers reading each one to see what the citation is. That’s probably why they used the same pink color tickets that you get for any number of parking violations.

    • brantshali

      Funny story…this was EXACTLY what I was thinking. While the sentiment of the police telling people to use common sense is commendable, this seems like an effort that is just as likely if not more so to make the problem worse. Alternately, maybe this is the actual intend of DCPD…sort of a Darwin awards…?

    • Timebomb

      These will look indistinct from parking tickets, and people who rob cars are already pretty good at targeting cars.

      • anon


  • kwame

    Soooo if you’re breaking into cars, you should just look for the ones with pink tickets?

  • Emily

    Sooo… will these look like regular parking tickets at a glance or will they just flag the car for further inspection by thieves?

    • Ben

      I believe they will look similar but will have a checkbox for “Thief requested” on them instead of the “Tow requested” checkbox on normal tickets.

  • Mike

    Echoing the last few comments, this seems like a well-intentioned, if kind of in-your-face, educational program that wasn’t really thought through. Did nobody ask: “Wait, won’t this just make it easier for thieves to figure out which cars are unlocked or have valuables inside?”

  • Anonymous

    This can’t be real. Too stupid even for MPD.

    • victoria

      NO – Just No. Or just issue a world-wide press release about how stupid our city is.

    • It’s not a new program. Back when I lived off of H St in 2011-12, all of the cars on our block got these pink warning notices. I don’t remember if it was about property theft or some other issue, but I remember being livid thinking I got a parking ticket until I opened it up. Then I was just annoyed.

  • zandunga

    So the cops are going to do half the work for thieves. They just have to check for pink slips and break the windows.

  • dave

    Unlocked cars? So they are going to go around to each door and open it? That is just bazaar! you wouldnt be able to tell if my car was unlocked unless you tried to open it.

  • former taylor st

    I leave my doors unlocked (noting of value in the car really) because I’ve spent a few hundred on replacing back windows. You a welcome to whatever you like, just for god sakes, don’t break my windows! If you’re crafty enough to hotwire it, its also free for the taking.

  • transplanted

    We don’t leave items in plain view (or in the car at all) but do leave the car unlocked on purpose. It’s an old junker and not really desirable for thieves, so if they open it and rifle through the glove box (happened a lot in Columbia Heights, less now) it doesn’t really matter and spares us a broken window.

  • anon

    I’m ok with this… until city council passes legislation that these faux tickets are now $50.

    In other news: I have zero sympathy for the bikers crying about getting tickets. Wrong way on one way street? Check. Blowing red lights? Check. Speeding through intersections when you don’t have right of way? Check. And all with the self righteousness that you must be right because you’re not a car.

    Bombshell: I’m a biker too, bitches – learn how to do it responsibly.

  • Mitzi

    This is really dumb. They don’t have a better use for their time?

    • PettyShabazz

      Cynicism level on 1000 today. What exactly do you expect the police to do? Station a police officer every 50 ft on every dc street 24 hours a day to ensure that your car isn’t broken into? I think reminding people that if thieves are less successful in finding things of value to steal they may decide to not try to steal stuff from cars bc hey, novel idea, it’s no longer beneficial to them. I think this is great idea, the fact that it looks like a regular ticket means that a thief would have to go check every ticket on every car to see if they got the warning ticket, at which point, if they’re already there, you think they aren’t checking your car out anyway? Let’s employ some common sense and give the cops a break for trying to do something that may eventually lead to fewer break ins.

      • textdoc


        • textdoc

          Er, +1.

  • The Jimmy

    Really, you can not even get MPD officers to leave their cars. Too busy and lazy to get out of their cars. Never going to happen on a large scale. Might see a couple of tickets here and there.

  • Sparky

    dear MPD/thieves,

    I am a 19-year-old beater of a car, and my locks only occasionally work on the driver’s side. So my owner never locks me. If you want some reusable grocery bags with logos of various organizations, have at it. I may even have an old cassette tape or two in there.

    Luv, Sparky

    • Percy

      As a 17-year old beater, I find that leaving a layer of duct tape, old fast food bags, snow-scrapers and socks in the back seat does little to attract thieves, and would appreciate it if you don’t bother me about hiding these incredibly valuable items.


      • Sparky

        We should meet for drinks, since I’m almost old enough to drink. I ALSO have snow scrapers and socks in the back, and a pair of plyers! What a match!
        Your new best friend,

  • JohnSmith

    Lanier needs to go. Any department that let this dumb of an idea actually get implemented is in serious need of a leadership change. I’ve never been a police officer in DC (or anywhere) and this is pure speculation but it seems that none of her officers have confidence in her anymore and have basically stopped doing their jobs. When officers speak to the public about crime, they usually blame citizens for the crime occurring; admit they will likely not catch the criminals responsible; and if they do catch them it won’t matter because they’ll be back on the streets in no time. I think all of this is the direct result of 9 years of mismanagement on the part of Chief Lanier. About a year about, MPD made a terrible decision in disbanding their Vice Squads and DC has suffered since. Fast forward a year later, crimes is way up and police officers are overwhelmed and disenfranchised. https://www.popville.com/2015/08/dc-police-union-immediately-reinstate-district-level-vice-units/ I do not know how DC can have a 51% increase in murders in 2015 and a 21% in 2016 and we don’t have mass demonstrations in the streets calling for new MPD leadership, who appear to be a sleep at the wheel. http://kutv.com/news/nation-world/baltimore-dc-chicago-drove-rising-us-murder-rate-in-2015 …….Its going to be a long summer……

    • textdoc

      I too have come to think that Lanier ought to go… but come on, citing this fake “ticketing” thing as one of the reasons??
      I think that issuing warning “tickets” for stuff left in cars isn’t a bad idea, considering how many people DO leae stuff in their cars. There are a lot of problems with Lanier, but IMO, this is a drop in the bucket — even if you think the ticketing idea is a bad one.

      • textdoc

        Meant “how many people _leave_ stuff…”

  • Kay

    Great way to alert thieves to rob a car with the pink tickets!


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