Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin
My husband and I visited Key Bridge Boathouse in Georgetown on Sunday Oct 22, 2017 and were on the river kayaking from 2:50pm-3:50pm. We had locked up our bikes on the bike racks in front of the boathouse and came back to find them missing.
I was immediately approached by a homeless man claiming he had witnessed our bikes being stolen and could help us get them back. He knew exactly what these two men looked like and knew they would be back for more bikes. He said the thieves cut our lock and escaped in opposite directions with our bikes (one down the Capital Crescent Trail and the other towards Georgetown Waterfront.) I was skeptical, thinking this man may have been involved.
Meanwhile, my husband searched along the Potomac River side of the Capital Crescent Trail for stashed bikes as I called the police to file a report and notified the Boathouse front desk staff. Neither the police or staff seemed surprised by this incident.
The staff had mentioned bikes are stolen all the time, even one day prior. The police arrived at the location to write the report and moved on with their day. The homeless man did hang around as the Police came and I had him give a description of the two men.
Do realize that I understand the fact that bikes are stolen frequently and we were just two more bikes. We have accepted the fact we will not get back our bikes and that sucks but the reality.
What is getting to me, and the reason I am reaching out to PoPville, is that upon doing my own research of the Metropolitan Police Department Crime Reports it appears that the Key Bridge Boathouse in Georgetown is a TARGET. There have been 56 reported thefts in the area & 13 specific to Key Bridge Boathouse in the past year. Even more so there has been a theft at this location every weekend since the end of September. Those statistics are alarming and guaranteed to grow unless we do something to prevent!
(Search Crime Reports for location: 3500 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007 – http://crimemap.dc.gov/Report.aspx)
We have contacted the Boathouse via phone, email and Google Review, yet little response is given related to the matter. They do not seem concerned. Given their location is directly off the Capital Crescent Trail (very popular bike path) and in an area with generally poor parking, bike security affects business and customers. They should be protecting their customers with signage, secure location for the rack, or simply remove the racks all together. But nothing has been done to prevent or communicate.
Additionally, I have contacted the Police to follow up with our report yet it has not yet been assigned to an investigator. I do hope they see this trend as they have been called about similar thefts on a weekly basis. Maybe they have a plan but it has yet to be seen.