“Does it seem odd?”


“Dear PoPville,

Across from the building I was having drink at, Sixth Engine, I noticed a situation going on. Seems like people were being evicted. Earlier a couple had been out front and upset to come home from work to find their belongings on the sidewalk. They both left and and everything remained. While it’s none of my business what happened, I was surprised to see some people roll up and start loading the stuff into an SUV. The items had been on the sidewalk for a while and the people who came out of the SUV seemed more interested in picking through the items for things of value than movers would have.

Attached is a picture of the SUV loading the evicted people’s items into it. Does it seem odd that they had to clear out a lot of unopened Amazon boxes to make room for other things as well?”

59 Comment

  • I believe people swooping in to go through eviction items on sidewalks had been addressed here before. Driving a vehicle to load up stuff in such a situation is new to me. I think it’s pretty sad and tasteless. But they certainly seized what they perceived to be an opportunity.

    • There was one last year shaming white neighbors for taking an evicted black woman’s stuff while she stood there crying. There was lots of gentrification talk. Then the landlord posted saying that the person had passed away with no family, and the crying woman was not the evicted party.

      • Bad karma. I did once take used rolls of film that were in the rain — thought they would get wrecked, but then did not want to be responsible for what was on them if I had them developed so I ended up chucking them anyway :^) Forgot about that…. Somewhere in Lanier Height of a drizzly eve….

  • Did you call the police or just sit there, drinking a beer, taking pictures? If no, that’s pretty messed up considering that you estimated that people were taking things that weren’t theirs.

    • +1. Agree 100%. It is absolutely not okay to take pictures and later be like “So guys what’s up with this?” if you didn’t say anything.

    • while i do not at all disagree about taking action instead of talking about it later…perhaps you could have been nicer in your delivery. this community is really becoming very salty and no one wins there.

      • Nahhhhhh- it’s just the same usual suspects that are always so bitter and salty. You can tell by their rants how miserable they are.

      • Agree with kallie. I don’t comment much, but I’m on here often and some of the commenters I normally agree with have surprised me lately with their negativity and speculation. Today people are assuming this guy just took some pics but refused to do anything else. Yesterday everyone assumed that a person left his dog outside all day, thus inviting a random guy to enter his property. In both instances, the speculation was completely wrong.
        Chill out folks.

        • Sorry that some peoples rampant speculation gets in the way of other people’s.

          The OP here is speculating that the people in the photo aren’t helping the evicted.

          The poster with the dog was speculating the guy was determined to HIDE AND ATTACK her.

          There is no automatic infallibility awarded the person who writes into PoP. Most of these posts are based originally on some heavy level of speculation to begin with.

      • As soon as one person says something unkind, there are often the same few people who immediately jump on and add their “+1”. It’s maddening, especially when you’re the target of other people’s unkind assumptions. I made a comment one time that there was no evidence for other people’s comments, and then the main contributors to jerk-ism started accusing me of voting for trump and some even worse things.

        • Tom

          Lol, some representatives of the PoPville commentariat can be a cantankerous lot. I just left a comment on the brunch page and referenced an afternoon when I went out for a brunch in a big group, during which one of my friends got drunk, got up, and physically took the champagne bottle from the server’s station when it was unattended. I give it about 10 minutes before someone reads it too quickly/misinterprets it, thinks I was the one who took it, and accuses me of being a classless boor and perhaps worse than Hitler.

      • I will add in my apology here if I have been salty. I’m sure I have. I tend to get salty when other people get salty (particularly when I’m not in agreement with the saltiness), and thus the salty spiral continues downward. I will try harder not to engage because it is pretty nonconstructive.

    • +1.

    • not arguing against calling the police (nor for it), just genuinely curious- what could the police have done? Do evicted tenants have a period of time they can collect their belongings after its been moved out to the street like that? I would hope so. If not, would people taking the things be illegal?

      • Just because something is on the street doesn’t mean you can take it. I remember a couple years ago, the cops ran a sting on H street where they left a wallet full of money on the sidewalk and then busted people who took the cash.

        • That seems like a waste of police resources, but I guess if you have an id in the wallet, you’re expected to return it, and I’d do so.. If I find an envelope of money on the street though, it’s gone. Sorry not sorry.

        • I am going to have to call BS on that story. That didn’t happen. There’s no law against keeping money you find on the street. And DC cops have declined to do stings for way more serious issues than money sitting on a sidewalk.

          • And how would they know what you intended to do with it after you left the area? Seems unlikely.

      • This probably revolves around the legal definition of abandonment and the taker’s reasonable belief thereof.

        • If 2 people got evicted, and they both leave the area, I’d think they’re abandoning that stuff. Evictions in DC are not surprises. You have time to make arrangements or at the very least leave someone there to attend to it.

          • Except there is no evidence the people taking the stuff KNEW the couple KNEW their stuff was on the sidewalk so they had no basis for assuming it was abandoned. The OP saw this and knew, but the thieves (and that’s what they are) did not.

  • Strong possibility that these people are also package thieves, and when they saw items of value dropped the packages to make room – though im surprised they didnt even open them

    • In my neighborhood (Northern VA) Amazon seems to use contractors to deliver packages at times. On a Saturday afternoon a van pulled into my driveway and a kid got out. He was 11 or 12 years old. He rang the doorbell, and I braced myself to turn down a request for money for a school fundraiser. Instead he was delivering an Amazon package that I was expecting. The van had no special markings, and his mom stayed in the van. Conceivably, the people in the picture were doing freelance Amazon deliveries when they stopped to go through the stuff on the sidewalk

      • ^ I had NO idea, that’s crazy. The more you know!

      • I’ve had this in Arlington. Unmarked white vans and cars delivering on Saturday and Sunday. I think they have their prime deliverers deliver the packages if it’s stocked at the Springfield warehouse.

      • Yep, the service is Laser Ship and they are god awful. Other time sensitive companies use them too, like HelloFresh (food delivery). It’s like UberX for delivery, using your own car, etc.

      • Yeah with Prime same-day these days Amazon is going with more last mile operators like Lasership that don’t necessarily have the same professional trucks and uniforms as UPS and FedEx. Or it could be package thieves but considering it is only Amazon packages and nothing else likely not.

      • In my experience, it’s Lasership that uses contractors. Amazon uses them for next day delivery sometimes.

  • A little late to be wondering if it is suspect or not. Did you call the police or just continue to make assumptions about the people and continue drinking? If you felt it was wrong, then you should have done something at the time it was happening. Are you looking for a way out of feeling guilty because you did nothing?

  • It is odd, but it’s also entirely plausible the boxes were taken from recycling to use for packing their stuff up.

  • “While it’s none of my business what happened, I was surprised to see some people roll up and start loading the stuff into an SUV.”
    Make it your business, OP.

    • That might not be good advice? This legitimately could have been friends helping out.

      Who actually shows up to take most of an evicted person’s belongings? Also doesn’t that process take quite a while in DC?

      • But would it have hurt to inquire in passing? They could have just said “Yeah, we’re helping out” and maybe it would have been a lie, but at least OP wouldn’t have seemed like a useless bystander. I don’t get why people aren’t bothered enough at the time, but then pretend to be bothered after the fact.

  • I have seen some sudden moves in my area and I wonder if they are related to deportations? People getting out quickly and leaving their stuff? As to evictions, people are given ample warning, no? So if your stuff ends up on the street, it’s not because you have not been warned, is my understanding….

    • I think some people end up with their stuff all over the sidewalk because they can’t handle what’s happening to them. A number of years ago a neighbor was evicted from his family’s home after years of fighting in and out of courts. She was finally able to have the Marshals evict him and hired some guys to haul all his stuff to the curb. A bunch of neighbors came home in the middle of the day to help him sort stuff for trash/storage, rent storage facilities, haul his stuff to storage, and find him a place to stay. Most neighborly display I’ve personally seen in 15 years in the District.

  • EckingtonDoodle

    Dude, TBH doing that is like opening your doors to a bedbug infestation in your home! DC is #2 in the nation according to Orkin’s bedbug ranking.

    Yard Sales or free furniture just aren’t worth the risk!

  • It’s extremely difficult to evict someone in DC, and it’s not like it just up and happens without notice. I’m sorry, but if someone gets evicted and their stuff ends up unprotected on the curb, that’s on them. At what point do evicted tenants assume responsibility for their actions and property?

    • It’s extremely difficult to *legally* evict someone in DC. Taking advantage of someone who doesn’t know their rights is as simple as changing the locks.

    • I recently saw “99 Homes” (free on Amazon Prime video) and it showed some illegal practices that were pretty routine back before the housing crisis . It made me realize that sometimes there is another side of the story. I’d hope that type of abuse of the system doesn’t happen here or happen routinely anywhere for that matter, but it also made me realize that sometimes people have some hope and then the rug is pulled out from under them. I mean…EVERYONE that gets forcibly evicted thinks they can talk the marshals into “just one more day”.

      I’d recommend the film if you haven’t seen it.

  • I did call the police, but these people knew their business and we gone in like six minutes…way before the cops showed up. It looked like a NASCAR pit stop or something. Four people hopped out, made room for the stuff, loaded it all up and drove off. I feel super bad for the people who came home from work to find their stuff on the sidewalk and then just a few hours later it was all gone. So sad

    • Well that sure spoils all the speculating and +1ing.

    • Cops in DC are useless. On my old street I’d see dudes systematically breaking into cars pretty frequently, just below my apartment window. They’d just casually walk down the street peeking into cars and break in when they saw something good to steal. I’d call the cops but the quickest they’d ever show up was about 45 minutes. I had a prowler in the alley behind my new place peeking into windows just a couple weeks back. Again, I called the cops but this time they never showed up. Absolutely useless, these guys.

  • A little disturbed by the amount of people saying “why didn’t you get involved, etc..or were you too busy drinking?!” as if one is always, without question, obligated to put on their investor cap. While I do, I find the far majority of people do not say anything when people are committing crimes, or doing something irresponsible. My perspective is that the comments you are ostracizing someone for even getting the slightest bit involved and trying to figure out what is going on.

  • “The items had been on the sidewalk for a while and the people who came out of the SUV seemed more interested in picking through the items for things of value than movers would have. ”
    If you end up in a situation where you have been evicted, there’s a good chance that you don’t have the scratch to hire movers – especially on short notice.
    So these people picking through the items to get the most valuable stuff is not inconsistent with them being called in to help by the people who got evicted. God forbid I ever got evicted, I would focus on protecting the most important stuff first. I wouldn’t be worried about non-important stuff being left on the sidewalk.

    • Your analysis makes no sense. What’s more plausible – that the money-challenged evicted people would leave the scene, call up a crew of guys in a van to “go pick up their most valuable stuff”, and not even bother to be on the scene to monitor or help the picking up of said valuable stuff? Or, that some crooks just saw the stuff on the sidewalk, pulled over, and picked through the most valuable stuff, because they are crooks and usually only desire the most valuable stuff? Again, what’s more plausible?

  • Agreed with other comments! Too many times people see questionable stuff happening and do nothing or say nothing! No one is asking you to be a policeman but even just questioning what is happening can make these guys think twice. they thrive on this sad culture of ours that no one will say anything. Sad

    • Yes but all these commenters were just speculating and were totally wrong. OP says he/she did call the cops. I understand people are frustrated but I wish folks would stop assuming the worst about their fellow Popville readers.

      • Well, *now* we know that — but half the comments were before OP clarified. I would like to not assume the worst about people, but you know what? It’s been really damn hard the past few months.