From Matty Rhoades and Luis Gomez
The last several weeks have seen a dramatic increase in the number of thefts from autos in an area around 15th Street NW. The number of cars with smashed windows has been particularly noticeable on the 1500 blocks of O, Church, Q and Corcoran Streets NW.
For the October 9-23 period there were 23 thefts from autos in the area centered around 15th and Q Streets NW (see map at right), compared to seven in the same two-week period of 2010.
Nine of the break-ins were on Church Street NW and the large majority occurred west of 15th Street. Thefts from autos are either the most common or second most common crime in the area, the other being thefts.
Police Tips: Leave nothing visible in your car… never leave a jacket or clothing on the seat… don’t leave electronic device hook-ups visible… never leave any type of bag or container either on the floor or seat… and remove valuables from the trunk of your car. Educate friends and family who may be visiting you in the neighborhood.
Arrests, Extra Patrols
According to Second District Commander Michael Reese, two arrests have been made in the smash-and-grabs and he hopes this will show a decrease in the number of these crimes in the area.
“There has definitely been an upsurge of car break-ins in the area. We have had patrol cars recently on these residential streets off 15th Street NW and have made some arrests of people who were part of this,” said Reese.
Leave Nothing Visible In Your Car
“We emphasize over and over again to residents to not leave anything visible in their cars,” said Reese. “The Dupont-Logan area has become very popular with visitors from outside the neighborhood and many of them don’t understand that you cannot leave a jacket on the seat or a navigation system on the windshield.”
One neighbor whose car was broken into last Thursday night told Borderstan that he had removed his GPS system from the windshield. “Unfortunately, the suction cup imprint for the GPS was visible on the windshield, so they broke into the car and found it in the glove compartment,” he said.
Reese also emphasized the people should never leave items of value in the trunks of their cars. “Thieves will break into cars just to get into the trunk, even if they don’t see anything of value in the front interior,” he said.
The west side of 15th Street is in MPD’s Second District and Police Service Area (PSA) 208; the eastern side is in MPD’s Third District and PSA 307.
In Police Service Area (PSA) 208, which covers Dupont-Kalorama, there have been 28 thefts from autos (the official police term for the crime) for the two-week period ending October 23 — compared to 25 in the same period of last year. In PSA 307, which covers the Logan Circle area, there have been 19 thefts from autos in the last two weeks — compared to 14 in the same period of 2010. In PSA 305, which covers the U Street-Howard University area, there have been 34 thefts in the last two weeks compared to 28 during the same period last year. All numbers are from the MPD Crime Database.