2D Cmdr. Klein: Steps Being Taken to Combat Area Robberies

by Borderstan.com August 16, 2009 at 11:23 pm 5 Comments

This map shows the locations of the 11 violent crimes that occurred in the Borderstan crime area (highlighted in yellow) between July 14 and August 13. There were 7 robberies with a gun, 3 robberies with a gun, and 1 assault with a deadly weapon (no gun). Source: MPD Crime Search database.

This map (click to view larger image) shows the locations of the 11 violent crimes that occurred in the Borderstan crime area (highlighted in yellow) between July 14 and August 13. There were 7 robberies without a gun, 3 robberies with a gun, and 1 assault with a deadly weapon (no gun). Source and image: MPD Crime Search database.


This map (click to view larger image) shows the locations of the 26 violent crimes that occurred in PSA 208 (mostly the Dupont Circle area, highlighted in yellow) between July 14 and August 13. There were 17 robberies without a gun, 3 robberies with a gun, and 6 assaults with a deadly weapon (no gun). Source and image: MPD Crime Search database.

The following message is from Commander Matt Klein, head of the MPD’s Second District. Klein explains measures he has put in place in response to several armed robberies that occurred recently in Borderstan.

Police Service Area (PSA) 208 is part of 2D and covers the Dupont Circle area, including western Borderstan. The armed robbery at 14th & P NW occurred in PSA 307, which covers primarily the Logan Circle area including eastern Borderstan.

From Commander Klein:

Over the past 30 days, PSA 208 has experienced an increase in street-level robberies. Many of those robberies occurred in areas that are heavily traveled by local residents and visitors.

Specifically, there have been 19 robberies in the past 30 days compared with 13 in the same 30 days last year. Of those 19 robberies, 2 involved handguns and in 17 the suspect was unarmed.

I have taken action to combat this upswing in robberies by increasing the amount of officers working in uniform as well as plain-clothes in the area. I have also deployed other crime countermeasures to the neighborhood, such as the portable light tower that is placed in a different location each night.

The increased presence has yielded several arrests, including two this week involving the robberies on 16th Street–units responded quickly and were able to apprehend the suspects as they were fleeing the area.

Members of PSA 208 will continue to provide the highest level of police service and ensure that officers are visible and proactive.

I urge anyone observing any suspicious activity to call 911. Please feel free to contact me, or any members of the PSA 208 leadership team with any questions or concerns:

Regards, Commander Matt Klein, MPD Second District (202) 730-1901

  • Jeff

    The police are only as good as the citizens, and the help from the citizens in the area has reached an all time low. People like the curator of this website add to the problem with the inflated drama, (ie…”lets set the stage?) What does this help? Citizens need to be vigilant, responsive and aware. Like the citizen in Baltimore said; “there are shootings and stabbings in every city, Baltimore is a beautiful city, anywhere you go there’s going to be violence.” If Baltimore is beautiful, then DC is a palace. The crime spike in Baltimore makes DC appear gun less. A new commander isn’t going to fix the violence, especially when his hands are tied by a controlling city council and command staff. I had the pleasure of talking with a second district officer on 17th Street. We talked and he made a lot of sense. He proved it to me. We saw a woman walking up the street, IPOD shoved in her ears (she was one of many) swinging her purse like it was a toy. The officer told me to try and think like a criminal and I did. She was the perfect person, albeit one of many. It would have been so easy to rob her. The sad part was when the officer tried to stop and talk to her. From the look in her face, she was pissed off he stopped her and tried to explain what a target she was. She didn’t take him serious and she was down right nasty. What are wrong with the people around here? People getting robbed in alleys at night, what is that guy doing in the alley at that time anyway. Tricking in an alley, you get what you deserve, but again the citizens think the police are to blame. If you were told someone went into the alley to get a trick going and was robbed. Would you say that was a robbery? No, that was a dumb person. As I walked around days after that I realized what a target rich environment we have set not to mention cars full of stuff parked on the streets. This area is a great place for criminals to shop because we make it so easy and tempting. With the economy tanking, I seriously doubt we will be able to afford a substation, let alone keep the officers we have. We the citizens need to think of what we’re doing, help and report what we see. We need to take action to help the police, not belittle them. Not a sermon, just an idea.

  • Jeff – Thank you for taking time to comment and offer suggestions, which is (as you point out) far more than most people do. However, I do take strong exception to a few things:

    (1) NEVER have I belittled the police. EVER. I have come to know a number of the patrol officers over the past couple of years and I have tremendous respect for them. The same goes for a number of the higher-ups in the MPD. In fact, I challenge you to go through every posting on this site and find an instance where I have made nasty or demeaning comments about the DC MPD. Please report back when you find them.
    (2) As for the “drama” of this blog with my lead in about “setting the stage” — hell, yes, it was dramatic. We supposedly live in one of the most safe areas in the city and we have brazen acts of armed robbery. I have been at my current address for almost 11 years and the types of crimes we witnessed recently on 16th Street and on 14th Street are new.
    (3) The more I learn about the police, the more I view DC’s crime problem as a political problem — NOT a problem with the police. For example, we have a city council unable and unwilling to pass tougher crime laws. Nor will this city allow the police to aggressively enforce quality of life crimes. Talk to some of the officers on the street sometime about this issue.
    (4) Since I view our crime problem as a political problem, it means — at some level — that I agree with you about the need of citizens to be more vigilant and to work with police. What’s the old saying? People get the government they deserve. Sad, but true.
    (5) As for “all big cities have crime,” yes, they do, Jeff. But, does that mean we simply accept things as they are? Doesn’t that make you part of the problem — like the citizens you criticize for not caring? I will not accept the premise that everything in DC is just wonderful simply because it is not as bad as Baltimore.
    (6) When the day comes that we are no longer outraged about armed violence in our neighborhoods, then we have truly descended to some hell-like new low. I REFUSE to NOT be upset by violent crime. It destroys communities.

    — Matt Rhoades

  • Jessica

    With regards to the Police on 17th Street – I have spoken with them before. Lovely guys. But why aren’t they on foot patrol?
    It seems to me that there’s a lot of police standing around on the corner of coffee shop and gay bar, ‘monitoring’ when if they were walking around, their powers of observation, including giving tops to residents on how to be more aware, would do more good.

    That, and I wish they’d patrol via car without talking on their cell phones. With this increase in crime, simply driving around paying attention would be an invaluable service to all, and in the end, catch the summer nogoodnicks

  • Melissa


    People go in allies for reasons other than “tricks”. For example, my parking space is in the alley. My trash is also back there. No, i don’t take the trash out in the middle of the night, but sometimes I have no choice but to park my car.

    Also, these recent crimes haven’t been in dark allies at night. They have been in the middle of the day and on heavily trafficked main streets.

    Finally, I agree with your point about citizens needing to be aware and not make themselves easy targets. I carry my purse close to my body, don’t wear an ipod at night, and try to be aware of my surroundings. However, armed robbery is a crime and it isn’t OK even if a citizen isn’t doing all she can to protect herself.

    Matt – thanks for bringing these incidents to our attention. I have called Jack Evans office and am happy to take other actions that would help address the situation.


  • Jeff: I couldn’t agree more that residents would do themselves a great favor by reducing their “target factor.”

    At the same time, however, your message only concentrates on the residents, while this blog seems to have taken a broad approach to the many factors of crime in DC. Yes, I can count on Borderstan to be outraged when people are viciously attacked, and to indict policies, politicians or attitudes that fail us in the face of crime.

    I, for one, am not interested in Baltimore’s crime rate. There will always be a place with worse crime. I’m interested in more residents getting the facts, becoming stirred over increases right here in various types of crimes, and taking a variety of actions. This blog is a service in that regard, and frankly helps the police challenge a sometimes dismissive and disrespectful prosecutorial or political bureaucracy.


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