Going out of town for Thanksgiving… and leaving your car parked on the street for a few days? Take 5 minutes, go to your car and do a few quick things that will reduce the likelihood of your car having its windows smashed and your valuables taken.
Thefts from autos (“smash and grabs”) are the most common crime in the area.
The accompanying maps show the location of smash-and-grabs in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area in the past week, Nov. 15-22.
The police warn: Do not leave anything of value visible in your car. Never leave a cell phone, coat, brief case, dry cleaning or even bags of groceries on the seat of your car — and don’t leave anything of value in the trunk.
This precaution also extends to hookups for Global Positioning Systems (GPS), satellite radio and iPods.
Why? If a thief sees a hookup, he may assume that the GPS, satellite radio or iPod is somewhere in your car — and break in to look for it. Thieves will even target cars where the outline of the suction cup for a GPS hookup is visible on the windshield.
A huge drop in the number of thefts from autos (TFAs) almost halved the total number of crimes in May 2010 compared to May 2009 in the U Street area¹. There were 17 TFAs in the U Street area last month compared to 51 in May 2009; there were 8 in May 2008. In addition, there were only 3 stolen autos last month compared to 7 in May 2009 and 8 in May 2008.
The number of TFAs or “smash and grabs” seemed to spike dramtically in 2009 in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area before falling back toward 2008 levels this year. (See 14th Street: Crime Down 66% in May YOY and 17th Street Area: May Crime Down Slightly YOY.) The increase in auto crimes was particularly bad in the U Street area.
On a year-over-year basis (YOY), the 40 total crimes in the U Street area was represents a 47% drop from the 75 total crimes reported in May 2009. However, it is still higher than the 35 total crimes reported in May 2008. The YOY trend for May is similar to the one reported for April in the U Street area (U Street Area: April Crime Down from 2009, Higher than 2008).
Detailed numbers are below the fold and are from the MPD Crime Database.
Violent crime down slightly. In the U Street area, there were 6 violent crimes last month–all of them robberies without a gun involved. This compares to 8 violent crimes in May 2009 and 6 in May 2008. In May 2009, there were 7 robberies (5 in which a gun was used) and 1 homicide.
Declining property crime. The decreased in the number of auto crimes was the driving factor in the decrease in property crimes on a YOY basis as well as the decrease in the area’s total crime. However, the number of thefts did increase in May 2010 compared to the previous year: there were 14 thefts last month compared to 8 in May 2009 and 6 in May 2008.
The U Street Corridor crime reporting area¹ (see map) covers a circular area that radiates 1,000 feet from 12th and U NW–an area that roughly runs from 14th Street on the west to 9th Street on the east and from W Street on the north to S Street on the south.
Total crime stats for May 2008, 2009 and 2010 are below the fold.