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“it’s a brand new building with seemingly secure locks, so it’s a bit unnerving that he was able to get away with this in broad daylight”

by Prince Of Petworth June 1, 2016 at 11:20 am 17 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I live in a small (7 unit) condo building on 6th Street in Shaw. Our building recently had a string of break-ins. My road bike was stolen, along with a set of golf clubs, a neighbor’s bike, and a number of other items.

We’ve filed a police report and set up some alerts for the stolen items, but I wanted to pass along the security camera footage in case anyone recognizes/knows of this guy.


Having lived in DC for 11 years, I know this is a common problem. That said, it’s a brand new building with seemingly secure locks, so it’s a bit unnerving that he was able to get away with this in broad daylight (still trying to figure out how he got in, but will be changing locks/setting up more cameras).”

  • fka Shawess

    It is possible that he go in through a garage, as these images suggest? Our mostly secure condo building has some issues with theft, but they’re largely crimes of opportunity — someone isn’t paying attention when they open and close the garage, and people sneak in.

    • Shaw983

      OP here – no garage in the building, only outdoor parking in back (where car is pictured). (but definitely a good suggestion if we did!)

  • anon

    I rent from a condo owner in Kalorama. My apt was recently broken into, someone used tools to break apart both deadbolt key holes and manipulate the locks somehow. We also have “secure” entry at the front of our building. Doesn’t seem like there is any way to stop it.

    Make sure you keep digital copies of all receipts and a log of all your possessions for insurance is my only advice.

    • anon

      Also people, please think about this when you buzz people into the building!! I have not seen the footage, but my building mgmt said my burglar stood at the call box for a few minutes before entering. I assume someone in my building buzzed him in, maybe he said he was FedEx or something. But it really sucks. Please think of your neighbors when you let anyone into the building.

      • 18th Street

        This. It doesn’t matter how rude it seems, don’t let people in if you don’t know them.

    • anon

      I just had a break-in a few weeks ago in my apartment in Adams Morgan, and same sort of thing — they broke the lock on my apartment door but no forced entry on the front door of the building, so someone likely let the thief in or he/she/they followed someone in. Happened in broad daylight, but unfortunately my building has no cameras.

      I’ve heard there have been a lot of break-ins in the neighborhood recently, and wonder if they are at all connected? For what it’s wroth, I’ve actually been impressed with the MPD. The police officer who came to the scene basically told me it was a low priority case b/c there were no cameras, no witnesses and no assault. But the detective assigned to the case is definitely trying. He told me 75% to 80% of these break-ins go unsolved b/c there just isn’t enough information, but he actually found a neighbor on the street with a Nest video camera and got that footage and is following every lead he can.

  • HaileUnlikely

    Stolen from common or sort of common space (e.g., a storage room in the basement), or was the stolen stuff inside of individual units? If inside of individual units, are the residents of those units confident that their doors were indeed locked? If so, was there any physical evidence of a break-in? If not, what kind of locks do you have (just look at the lock and if it has any names or words printed or stamped on it, just say what they are).

  • stacksp

    From your unit or a storage space within the Apt Building?

  • TruxtonPride

    Curious what MPDs reaction was when you have them the photos and video. I have found them to be less than enthusiastic about finding people I have clear face shots of stealing my packages off my front step.

    • facts

      they’re unenthusiastic because realistically making a case against someone like this stick to the point of getting charges filed and actually through to a conviction is a near-impossibility.

    • Detective Friendly

      The people who investigate the cases after, like myself, love decent quality video like this. The problem is that it’s very hard to ID and a single-officer ID is usually insufficient for the U.S. Attorney’s office to sign off on a warrant. There usually needs to be more corroboration. Cases don’t get closed for lack of effort; there’s usually factors outside our control.

      • JoDa

        A little OT, but due to something that happened to me a while back, would a victim ID make for a solid case? If I knew the person I caught on video stealing something and IDed them from the video, does that make the case more likely to end in at least prosecution?

        • Detective Friendly

          It depends on what you exactly mean. When we try to ID someone, we’re trying to determine their identity so that they can be charged. If we receive reliable information that someone is a suspect, we usually bring the victim a photographic array and see if they can pick them out. If they do, and the person doing the ID is identifying the suspect with a reasonable degree of confidence, then that usually is sufficient to get an arrest warrant.

          In your case, if you mean that either you saw the person steal the item and you know who they are, or you can ID them from the video and can make an identification from an array or confirmation photo, then it’s far more likely to get a warrant for the case and arrest made,

          • JoDa

            I installed a video camera after a theft that I’m pretty sure was committed by someone who hangs around the neighborhood, though I had no evidence of that except gut feeling. I could ID him (though I don’t know his name) from said video, and tell police where he’s likely to be. Just wondering because you said that an officer looking at a clear video and IDing a guy wasn’t good enough. I feel like an officer seeing the guy and saying “that’s him” is stronger than me as a citizen saying “the video shows it’s that dude down by the white house” (you know, I have no training in IDing people), but I suppose that counts as 2 IDs since the police could confirm that he looks like the person in the video.

  • A. Nony Mouse

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to post pictures like this that clearly identify a person. I mean if the person pictured were, for whatever reason, not convicted of a crime and their reputation or employment was harmed…the OP could be in for a world of legal trouble. All for what, a little internet outrage? Much better to just send the pictures to the DCPD and if you must post, obscure their identity.

    • Anonymous

      It sounds like the items that the individual in the picture has with him are those that were stolen. If posting the picture increases the likelihood that someone in the community will recognize the individual and notify the police, the downsides are pretty small. It would take quite the brazen individual to sue the condo for posting pictures of him in the act of stealing someone else’s property. Then again, this is DC.

  • RiggsNE

    OP, he probably just bumped the locks – quick technique and it doesn’t draw suspicion. Might want to look into replacing yours with bump-proof or bump-resistant locks – they are more expensive but worth it. Any locksmith can do it, just be sure to request it before they come out because they don’t always have them on-hand. Good luck!


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