January Crime Roundup – PSA 308 and 101

Editor’s note: Please welcome 6th Street Watch as a new contributor to the Triangle blog.

For the month of January, a total of 32 crimes were reported in PSA 308 (Mt. Vernon Square North of New York Ave.), including five violent crimes and 27 property crimes. Property crimes include burglaries, stolen cars and thefts from cars.  To put this in perspective – in comparison to January 2010, violent crime has decreased in the area by 50% and property crime has increased by 69%.
In PSA 101 (the Chinatown area south of New York Ave.), there were a total of 134 property crimes (an increase of 24% from last year) and 25 violent crimes (static from last year).

PSA 308 Map of Crime

PSA 308 Map of Crime; click to enlarge

PSA 308: 01/01/2011 to 02/01/2011
Robbery Excluding Gun: 3
Robbery With Gun: 2
Burglary: 3
Theft: 9
Theft From Auto: 14
Stolen Auto: 2

PSA 101: 01/01/2011 to 02/01/2011
Robbery Excluding Gun: 11
Robbery With Gun: 2
Sex Abuse: 1
Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Excluding Gun: 7
Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Gun: 4
Burglary: 8
Theft: 65
Theft From Auto: 53
Stolen Auto: 8

Thefts from cars are definitely the most prevalent crime in our neighborhood. For those of you with cars, be sure to review the following safety tips sent by Lieutenant Jeffery Carroll (head of PSA 308):

One of the most common types of theft is theft of valuables from your automobile. Theft from auto is strictly a crime of opportunity that can be prevented if you take away the opportunity. Thieves generally won’t waste their time breaking into autos that don’t have valuables in plain sight.

Recently, the Metropolitan Police Department has recorded an increase in thefts from autos, particularly in areas across DC known for their fashionable stores, popular restaurants and trendy bars. Cars parked near sporting venues when games or concerts are scheduled may also be targeted. If you plan on parking your car in a neighborhood that is known for its numerous visitors, remember thieves know these areas are popular, too. Be sure to either take valuable property with you or secure it properly. Please take the precautions listed below to help ensure your auto is not targeted by thieves:

  • Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight
    The best way to prevent theft from your auto is to always keep valuables out of sight. Never leave cell phones, briefcases, suitcases, or electronic devices (cell phones, iPods, laptop computers, etc.) in your car in plain view. Take these items with you, or secure them—all the time, every time.
  • Secure Your GPS Device
    While many GPS devices are mounted in the dashboard of the vehicle, the MPD encourages anyone who uses a portable GPS device to take it with you, along with any other items of value, when you park the car.
  • Use Your Trunk
    If your car has a trunk, use it. Put valuables in there or in a locked glove compartment. Hiding items under seats is better than leaving them in plain view, but securing them inside the glove compartment or trunk is a far better deterrent.
  • Don’t Tempt Thieves with New Purchases
    During the holiday season especially, or any time you’re shopping, place packages in the trunk, not on the passenger seats or floors.
  • Remove Your Radio Faceplate
    If you can unfasten your sound system and take it with you, or lock it in your trunk, do so. And don’t forget to do the same with your CDs and tapes.
  • Lock It Up
    Also, keep your car doors and windows locked—all the time!

Remember: “Outta sight, outta mind”—if thieves can’t see your valuables, they’re less likely to waste their time targeting your auto. Take the time to secure your valuables; it makes a difference.

Have you had any difficulty with theft or witnessed anything in the area? My husband and I saw a man trying every car door on our street late one night a few months ago. We called the police.

All crime data comes from the Metropolitan Police Department Website: http://crimemap.dc.gov/presentation/query.asp.

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