Everyone Fears Robberies: Where and How They Occur in Borderstan

by Borderstan.com December 1, 2011 at 10:45 am 1,548 5 Comments

"Borderstan", DC crime

It happens around Borderstan: 36% of all robberies in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area involve a snatch. (Photo staged by Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at [email protected].

Urban residents are often quite concerned about becoming the victim of a robbery, and understandably so. Robberies can be traumatic and dangerous experiences, not to mention the loss of personal property that can occur. What can DC crime data tell us about robberies in Borderstan so far this year – which streets and blocks had the most robberies? How many involved a gun? And what method was used?

Dupont-Logan-U Street area: 36% of all robberies involve a snatch, e.g., a robber grabs a purse or cell phone… 14% involve a gun, and 3% involve a knife… 29% involve force and violence, but not a weapon.

In total, 196 street blocks or intersections have had at least one robbery in 2011, but just 67 of these 196 blocks/intersections had more than one robbery. From January 1 to November 15, 2011, there were 308 robberies in Borderstan. Almost one-half of these (146) occurred in Police Service Area (PSA) 305, which includes the U Street area. The rest were about evenly split between PSA 307 (88), which covers the Logan Circle area; and PSA 208 (74), which covers Dupont-Kalorama. (It’s important to remember that PSAs are not equal in population or geographic area.)

U Street Corridor Cluster

Many of the streets with the highest number of robberies are clustered in the U Street corridor:

  • The 1300 block of U Street NW had nine robberies to lead all streets. The 1300 block of U Street NW is also the “hottest” block in Borderstan in 2011 and has the highest proportion of violent crime among the highest crime streets; see Violent vs. Property Crime on Borderstan’s “Hot” Blocks.
  • The 1000 and 1200 blocks of U Street both had five robberies apiece.
  • The 900 block of U Street and the intersection of 14th and U Streets NW each had four robberies.

The table below examines the method used in these 308 robberies. About 14% of robberies involved a gun — about 16% when including carjacking incidents, 6 of which involved a gun. While any gun robbery is a harrowing experience for the victim, gun robbery is not the most common type in Borderstan.

Robberies using some type of force or violence (but not a weapon) made up about 29% of all robberies and snatch cases involving a purse or other items (e.g., cell phones) being taken made up close to 36% of robbery cases.

 Robberies in Dupont-Logan-U Street

Method

Frequency

Percent

Force and violence

88

28.6

Pocketbook snatch

59

19.2

Snatch

51

16.6

Gun

42

13.6

Assault with intent

17

5.5

Attempt

14

4.5

Fear

14

4.5

Knife

9

2.9

Carjacking

7

2.2

Pickpocket

4

1.3

Other Armed

3

1.0

TOTAL

308

100.0

 

 

 

 

When are these robberies occurring? The DC police data do not include the time of day for incidents (although a cursory review of DC Police Alerts suggests that robbery is a nighttime phenomenon), but the month and day are available.

The table below presents the number of robberies in Borderstan by month. The results partially confirm conventional knowledge about crime and the weather. When it is warmer outside, there are more people out on the street and that typically means higher rates of crime, particularly predatory crimes like robbery.

As might be expected, January has the lowest number of robberies (11) and June (41) and August (39) are among the highest months in total robberies. The lower number of robberies in July (26) and the higher number in October (44) are more surprising. October had the most robberies of any month so far this year. This cannot be explained just by the weather; October was actually slightly cooler than average (Capital Weather Gang’s October recap: Cooler, wetter, snowier than normal).

Month

Frequency

January

11

February

26

March

27

April

21

May

30

June

41

July

26

August

39

September

29

October

44

November (first 15 days)

14

TOTAL

308

Robbery a Rare Event

Overall, robbery in Borderstan is not a rare event, but fortunately, it is also not particularly common (especially gun robbery). As with prior analyses of crime in Borderstan, it is important to keep in mind that these data are all drawn from police incidents, which are always subject to later changes and reclassification.

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