No one magic bullet
The Help came over for dinner, helping me put a dent in the amount of chicken dishes I made over the weekend. As a part of our date I suggested the overly romantic idea of popping into the 5C01 SMD meeting
around the block [sarcasm]. Surprisingly he thought it was a great idea, and after dinner we stopped over to the meeting that was already in progress. If you say you didn't see us, we were in the back, and we didn't stay long. We stayed long enough to hear about the parking situation and the Catch-22 the car owning residents of Richardson Pl. are in, and interesting things about liquor licensing. Did you know the city limits the number of A & B licenses for the whole city?
Anyway, we left and got to talking about changes in the neighborhood, particularly the drug dealing on the corner. The Help has known me since before I bought the house, and has seen the neighborhood change. Since he knows me and I pledged to be honest with him I gave him my answer and I'll share that with you. But I don't think it varies from what I've said before.
There is no one thing that I believe has reduced the dealing on the corner, but rather a whole ingredient list of things. First, I think we got better policing and policing got better. The Internet has helped a lot in getting information to the public, as opposed to the few people who show up to community police meetings. It also helped to have more police patrol cars going up and down the streets. Second, politics and city services. This neighborhood is on the ass end of Ward 5 and we were ignored by then Councilman Orange. With more people involved in local level politics, demanding and engaging more of the elected representatives, who then put pressure on city officials to tackle the crime environment. Also city services and servicing got better. Third, and you know I was going to get to it, demographic changes. There are a whole bunch of things wrapped up in that. The drug dealers need an environment and support structure and when there are fewer people who would add to it, it is undermined. There are fewer neighborhood kids to recruit. Fewer people willing to feed and house dealers. Fewer houses and businesses dealers can stand in front
of or visit when they need to duck the cops. Fewer walk up customers. More people complaining and calling the cops. More disapproving eyes on the street. More dog walkers. More joggers. More homeowners. Fewer absentee landlords not caring who they put into a house. Fewer vacant houses. Fewer stores to buy MD 20/20 and a 40oz (remember the old Bates Market?). And lastly, time. All things change with time.
Spring is loitering on the corner
You know good weather is around the corning when the boyz start hanging around the corner you prayed they had abandoned. Well, it's better than the bad old days when they'd hang on the corner in bad weather, day and night. So they started hanging out Wednesday, and they've brought on new staff. There is one guy I recognize from days past, but the other guys? Ranges from 'not sure' to 'he's new'.
With vigilance, hopefully, it will prove to be an unprofitable corner. Problem is that we are a handful of blocks from heroin central, over by where the Truxton Circle used to be. But so far, during the hour or so I was watching them, and really didn't see any cars stop. I wasn't the only one watching, a few others thought it was nice enough to sit on their stoops, or fiddle in the yard. Mix that in with the odd dog walker, joggers and strollers, I don't see how that's an attractive corner for a drug buy.
Also I want to thank the 5D cops who showed up and made several passes by the corner, and ventured into the alley. Of course by then the boyz had wandered off, but it was good they showed up anyway.Unrelated Announcement
- Blogger issues. Blogger is going to discontinuing a service I use so I'll need to migrate my blogs and I'm not sure what's that going to look like. So blogging may be spotty towards the end of the month.
Labels: blog, crime
A little advice to keep your iPhone from getting stolen
People, if you own an iPhone, you have a portable little device that sells for about $200 on EBay broken
. Not jailbroken. Cracked screen broken. So imagine if a thief manages to grab it from you fully functional.
On the green line one afternoon, after work I noticed a young woman standing near the door, one hand on the handle of a suitcase burdened down with other bags and one hand, outstretched playing with her iPhone. Her body language just screamed, "Hey steal my iPhone!" She was conveniently near the door, for a quick getaway. The number of bags she had, made it unlikely that she'd go running after my imagined thief. And since everyone else on the train was in their own little worlds, the likelihood that someone would chase after this imagined thief, small. The distance she held it out from her body made it easy to knock it out from her hands.
She wasn't the only young woman holding her precious iPhone a foot from her body, making it easy to grab. I saw another walking down 7th Street in Penn Quarter. She might as well have been holding it out another 6 inches further saying, "Here, here, take my phone."
So my advice is when you're out in public. Public being outside of your office, your dorm, house, your own private vehicle, hold your iPhone out no more than 6 inches from your body. Also it doesn't matter what neighborhood you're in because even Georgetown
is experiencing iPhone theft.
Please secure your rear
I just came from a unrewarding task. While putting my trash can away I noticed not 1, not 2, but about 4 home security issues of concern that could result in a break in or theft from a home or yard. Now if it was just one house, I would go to that person's house and knock on their door and point out that their back gate latch is unlatched, their rear security door (iron door) is wide open or any of the other concerns I noticed. But with 4, screw it. I'm just doing one and that one, the person wasn't at home. I left a note.
I'm not repeating it with 3 more houses.
So folks I know the snow probably kept you out of your back yard and away from your alley access. Well the alleys are mostly walkable now and wood warps (why your back fence gate is open), so check your rear.
BACA block captains wanted
There is a workshop for folks interesting in becoming block captains on March 11 from 7-9PM at the 5th District police headquarters. I gather the goal is to improve the safety of the community. If interested please contact Jim Berry at jamojam at msn periodthingy com. Ask about the car pool.
Well I guess that was a robbery
Kids hold on to your iWhatevers.
I ran into one of my neighbors in the metro and we decided to walk and chat. Now it being winter, my head (including ears) were bundled up so I concentrated on listening to my neighbor. However, I did hear some ruckus behind me, but didn't see anything as we headed to the escalators. Then this guy, bald black male, average height and build wearing a very new looking red and white jacket (primarily white with a bold red design) ran by us very quickly and hustled up the escalator. I didn't put two and two together until a white guy came running up about 10 to 15 seconds later. The red and white jacket guy stole his iPhone.
Labels: crime, transportation
Trend of Troubling Incidences on Metro
I mentioned before about the terrorizing teens on the metro here
. Checking the other blogs around Prince of Petworth has a report of an incident on the Red line
, with many comments following. What got me was one of the comments
of a woman who was targeted by two teenage girls who reached into her bags, and got a "what you want me to do about it" from the station manager when she reported it.
Labels: crime, kids, transportation
Teenage Train Terrorists Part II or You gotsa be startin' somethin'
The last entry reminded me of an another incident that happened on the Green line involving a teenager who was trying to start something with people minding their own business.
I was on the Green Line to Greenbelt on Sunday morning to meet the Help in College Park to go to his church. I had my newspaper and was more than likely listening to something on the iPhone (sometimes I just leave the headphones on with nothing playing), minding my own business. The train was sparsely occupied and I was in the center so I could see three other people seated and two or three standing at the doors. The people near the doors got off except this one guy, I think. The guy got my attention, I can't remember if he tapped my shoulder or waved me and said something. I took one head phone off and said, "What?" He said something, with a big smile on his face, sort of laughing. Whatever he said did not register in my mind as English. I probably said no thank you and "Good-bye" and put my headphone back on. He moved on and I saw him get off the train. Well a few more stops he was back on my car. This time he was getting into people's personal spaces. He leaned over to one large woman seated and she leaned back then he moved over to a man about 50 something, maybe South Asian or Latino or Arabian origin, and really got into his face. I mean the young man put his face about 5 inches from the face of man sitting near the door minding his own business. The man responded and started yelling and cursing at the young man with an accent. The young man cursed at the man in clear English, started grabbing his crotch and making threatening gestures. When the train pulled into West Hyattsville they both got off.
He was looking for trouble and we metro riders minding our own business are easy targets. Him and the gang of teenage girls are creating an environment ripe for the next Bernie Goetz
Labels: crime, transportation
Teenage Train Terrorists
I have a friend who lives about as far from the PG Plaza metro as I do from the Shaw metro. He drives to the metro, parks in the garage and takes the metro into the city. One (but not his only) reason for doing so was to avoid the Northwestern High School kids. When I was commuting into Maryland I would encounter some Northwestern boys who I swear were trying to see how obnoxious or how ignorant they could be, loudly. Occasionally an adult, who wasn't the bus driver*, would turn around and rebuke them. Very occasionally, because most of us just wanted to get to our destination and tried drowning out the degrading sex talk, the ignorant racism, and glorification of violence. Currently, my commute rarely has teenagers, and the offensive chatter regarding Latinos, the Plan to keep the Black man down and other theories, is at a lower volume.
Yesterday, I had some Christmas related shopping to do and was heading home around 6pm on the Green Line to Greenbelt. At Mt. Vernon Sq. three screaming yelling teenage girls boarded onto a crowded car. They remained loud and decided it would be fun to bang hard and loud on the Plexiglas partition during the ride. I'd been finding the ride home weary 2 stops before since I transferred at Gallery Place, and couldn't wait to get the heck out of the system. Doors open and apparently the girls decided to strike out at everyone disembarking. They called the tall black man in his 30s or 40s and 'old man' and the thin 20-30 something woman behind him one of them snatched at the woman's midsection.
I don't know if they were trying to poke the woman in the stomach, or snatch something off of her person or what, but I turned around on the platform and verbally confronted the two girls who were on the door side of the partition.
"What is wrong with you!" I asked.
*giggle* giggle blah blah something. Probably an insult in there.
"What is wrong with you? Are you all right? You know what you did was wrong!"
"What you gonna do about it? Hit me?" one of the girls responded.
"No, I'm not going to hit you, I'm telling you, you did wrong."
"You did wrong."
One girl made a lame attempt at a kicking motion, but I was a good 4-5 feet away. The door closed with them still giggling. My heart went out to the poor people stuck on the train with them on the way to U Street and points beyond.
In practice metro riders tend to tolerate even the most obnoxious verbal abuse, no matter how racist, classist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, or hateful. However, don't you think that when it turns even slightly physical it should be called out?
* I have long ceased to belive Metro drivers will stop people from doing anything obnoxious or illegal, except when they have to move people to get a wheelchair on.
Labels: crime, transportation
PoP reported a shooting outside of Windows Cafe
. An injured shooting victim was part of a Pepco crew working around 1st and Rhode Island Ave.
BACA is having December party in lieu of the usual civic association meeting this coming Monday. There will be chili and persons wanting to come are free to bring a covered dish and or a book to be donated to the library for the charter school in the Armstrong building. When? December 7th at 7pm. Where? Basement cafeteria space of the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at 3rd and Q.
Some of y'all, like me, work for Big Brother, I mean Uncle Sam and it is CFC
time. Please consider supporting two Shaw area non-profits. One being Bread for the City (CFC #61733) at 1525 7th Street NW. They have made a great effort to engage the community, not just those in need but also those who want to help. The other organization is N Street Village (CFC# 90946) at 1333 N St. I have given to them off and on over the years and they keep a clean space.
Labels: BACA, charity, crime
Anyone wanna take bets on the WD/Shaw Library Windows?
If you walk or ride by the corner of Rhode Island and 7th you'll see the skeleton of the Waltha Daniels Library going up. When it is all done it will be all modern looking with glass sides. But here's the thing, we've had an unfortunate spate of shootings near the Shaw/ Howard University metro entrance, including one incident yesterday. Worse yet those last few shootings occurred around rush hour. What is this? Are the shooters getting off work or school thinking, "3:30 leave. 4:00 shoot at Quay-Quay. 4:05 run over to the 7-11 and pick up a Coke and some Ding Dongs." So you mix people with questionable aim, guns and a glass library. I'm sure the library designers are putting in bullet-proof/ shatter-proof glass, but even still.
Guess the problems that used to be at Kelsey Gardens have mosied on down to Lincoln-Westmoreland. Lincoln-Westmoreland had problems on its own before, but was just one of several problem spots up and down 7th Street.
Lincoln-Westmoreland was one of those church sponsored housing buildings that went up in the early 70s. It is named for the two churches involved, the Westmoreland Congregational Church (white) and the Lincoln Memorial Congregational Temple (black), both could be described as being predominately middle class. Apparently these were built to fight poverty. Though it concentrates poverty (a popular thing to do back then) it does provide housing. I should say the Feds chipped in money into the building and was completed in 1971.
Labels: crime, neighborhood history
On the 22nd I and the Help went to Longview's gallery opening. SPACE! would be the new theme for this place. The previous 9th St version was a nice little store front, but it was too small for events. This new puppy is huge. Huge I say. They should be able to host other events that bring in over 100 people, as opposed to the 20 in the old location. Regarding the art, the Help and I pondered "Making Up Jesus," and some photo-realist paintings. Also while there I learned a valuable lesson about grabbing the caterer's wait staff and getting food. The catered bites were wonderful (except the curry pear soup).Crime
Let me get this one out of the way, shootings. Over the past week there have been a couple of shootings in the places where I walk and I have no idea what's up with that. From this regarding 8th & R (R St exit for Shaw metro):
On Oct 23, 2009, at 9:58 PM, Kucik, George (MPD) wrote:
There were gunshots fired tonight but nobody was hit. Despite uniformed officers in the area the suspect escaped. In the area of 5th and O, 7th and O and 8th and R I have uniformed officers and about 20 tactical officers king. They have been in the areas for the past 2 nights and are there tonight. In the past 2 days they have
made more than 20 arrests to include 4 arrests for subjects carrying guns. We will continue to flood the areas.
And then last weeks shooting, around 7th and N (?), and 8th and S
Scott Montgomery is having an auction today. Check it out at www.benefitevents.com/auctions/montgomeryesCharity
Bread for the City's Food for All thing got rained out. But hey read
about there great gleaning program with broccoli.
Lastly my cousin, who will be helping me with the on again, off again census of Truxton 1900-1930 (or 1940 depending) project has an appeal.
GLN is competing for a $10k grant! Please support us! All we request is a minute of your time to vote for us and help us win $10k! Our scheduling costs have doubled and we need this grant to be able to offer classes in the Spring.
Click below and vote for us today to win the first sprint! (You have to create an account and sign in with your e-mail, but don't worry, nobody will spam you. Ideablob requires that you create an account to make sure that only 'real people' are participating in the contest, and that there are no frauds). Help us reach the finals and remember to vote for us again next week when it really counts!
Labels: Art, charity, crime, non-profits/advocates
...and your little dog too
Sometime back while walking down R Street I encountered a little white dog off a leash. I wonder if it is the same dog that has been menacing students as reported yesterday on the listservs.
This morning, around 8am, one of the staff at Scott Montgomery ES informed me that one of her students, while coming to school, was chased by a small long-haired white dog. I alerted 911. I was in class and apparently out of cell phone range in the school when MPD responded, so I didn't speak to the officer immediately. Around 9am, I was told by the officer in a scout car positioned at 5th and O St that she responded and drove around the block looking for the dog and then went back to her fixed post.
I spoke to other students this morning and was informed by several of them that this particular off leash dog is a constant repeated. Since there are many young students who might potentially feel threatened by such an experience.
Keep your puppies leashed.
Labels: animals, crime
Stabbing on 200 blk of Q St NW
This is important enough to leave sleep mode.
August 26, 2009
Fatal Stabbing on Q Street, NW
Detectives assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are currently
investigating a homicide which occurred this afternoon on Q Street, NW .
On Wednesday, August 26, 2009, at approximately 2:33 pm, officers assigned to the Fifth District and DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department personnel responded the 200 block of Q Street, NW for the report of an aggravated assault. Upon arrival, they located two adults suffering from apparent stab wounds in front of 209 Q Street .
One of the victims was transported to Howard University Hospital and pronounced dead at 3:02 pm. The identity of the victim is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of-kin.
The second victim was transported to an area hospital and admitted in stable condition for treatment of apparently non-life-threatenin g injuries. The identity of this victim is being withheld due to witness status.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call police at (202) 727-9099 or 1-888-919- CRIM [E] (1-888-919-2746) .
The Metropolitan Police Department is currently offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia .
Accord to Si and the referenced blog there will be a vigil Friday.:
There will be a candlelight vigil for the trans victims tomorrow night 8/28 (Friday) at 6:30pm 209 Q ST NW. Wash, DC.
Anonymous information may also be forwarded to DC Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS and to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. If the information provided by a caller to Crime Solvers leads to an arrest and indictment, that caller will be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
Grass 'looks' greener on the Georgetown side
I wanted to quickly mention it before it went stale in my head. Georgetown Metropolitan has some stats on Georgetown crime
. I found it interesting because everyso often people compare Shaw (or where ever they are in DC) to Georgetown, making it out to be some crime-free wonderland. It ain't. If you want low crime get your butt to Palisades. Which I forget where exactly that is, and I bet some of you never heard of it.
The most interesting thing is Georgetown has more theft from autos and more burglaries per 1,000 residents than Dupont and Columbia Heights. What Georgetown is low in, are those crimes where one encounters the criminal.
Labels: crime, other neighborhoods
13 year old boys are idiots
A neighbor kid along with his little friends were in the alley behind my house and for some reason one of them decided to break a window. I was in the backyard trying to get my little grill going to roast some peppers when I heard the crash of pane glass. Pane glass breaking has a different sound from glass bottles and car windows. I immediately hopped up on a chair to see what was up and saw a group (5 or more) kids running down the alley. I screamed at them and then recognized one and told him he was in trouble.
I went into the alley to see if they actually broke a window, and if so, was it to an occupied house. There was a couple peering over the fence and apparently the kids broke their window, we talked and I told them which house one of the kids lived in. Later I called another neighbor to get the phone number of the adult responsible for the kid I recognized, so I could give her a heads up. As far as I know the police have not been involved yet, and it looks like everything going to be worked out between the adults.
Reflecting on this, boys are idiots. It would have been pointless to ask "what were you thinking?" They probably weren't. And to do something so stupid "one block" from where you live, very stupid.
Labels: crime, kids
Brutal Beating on Q Street
Jimbo has the details
, along with the bloody pictures.
First the bad from Mr. Moulton:
Dear Ms Choke,
With a shooting in broad daylight yesterday afternoon, in DPR's park within yards of the Bundy School (future home of Safe Shores) on O Street NW, hundreds of local residents hope your office will consider public safety when making a final determination of parking options for Bundy School tenants in the next few days. A police report from the Third District MPD is copied below.
As you know, many residents in our community are happy to share the responsibility for working collaboratively with our local MPD officials to make our community as safe as possible and enliven dead zones around our homes for the sake of our families and children as well as those who will receive necessary services at Safe Shores.
Will OPM be sound proofing the windows at Bundy School?
Daily Crime Report - 3D
Thu Aug 6, 2009 10:00 am
RPT DATE: Aug 05, 2009
OFFENSE: ADW - Assault With A Deadly Weapon
BLOCK: 400 B/O O ST NW
LOCATION: Park Area
START DT: 08/05/2009
START TM: 14:42:00
Hopefully there will be the staffing necessary around after this fiscal year is over to address this. At the BACA meeting the OPM rep tried to make the audience understand that the office is cutting about 9 (if I remember right) positions and that has consequences.
Good news also from Mr. Moulton of CCCA
or an event announcement that there will be a Jazz on the Green event at Bundy Park August 21st at 6:30 with a Brazilian jazz ensemble. See more here (PDF)
. It is great that groups and individuals are putting on outdoor arts events around the neighborhood. The First on First, over in Bloomingdale was a blast. Hopefully this will be a fun little event.
Labels: crime, events
Great work by MPD
This is from the 5D listserv. This is how it is supposed to work.
THEFT CAUGHT IN PROGESS!!!!
Officer's Henry and Hain of PSA 501 in partnership with the residence of PSA 501 were dispatched to 14 N Street NW after receiving a tip from citizens that a subject was breaking in a car. Once they arrived, they observed a male subject later identified as Kwan Kearney attempting to start a vehicle in the block. The suspect then began to run but was quickly apprehended by the officers. Great partnership and work by the community and these officers!!!! !
Beware of Craigslist Scams
Seems someone was trying to rent out 429 Warner St NW as part of their scam. I've mentioned the various Craigslist housing scams here
, and here
For the love of G-d, or whomever/whatever you hold dear use common sense when conducting a house search. If Ms. Future Landlord is off away in London or Leeds or the deepest darkest part of Angola, and can't show you the DC place, MOVE ON, IT'S A SCAM! Think, if someone can't even show you inside, how would they handle the AC not working or other landlord duties? They won't because IT'S A SCAM. On of my neighbors was sent to Bangledesh, has a local real estate company doing the management. So in a real life situation you'd be talking to a real estate office, not emailing some scammer. No excuses if you're out in BFE, Nebraska and you can't physically take a look at it. Stay in a hostel for a week or work with a real estate office/ management firm that has a number in the phone book, crash with your sister's ex-roommate's second cousin, but don't just hand money over to a complete stranger for a place you haven't seen.
Labels: crime, housing
I'm going to go down in order of importance-USHMM
I'm still in shock hearing this morning over the radio of the attack on the Holocaust Museum yesterday evening. My first DC job, was at the Holocaust Museum as a Visitor Services Rep. We worked with the security guards, as both teams dealt with the public. So my prayers are with the slain guard Steven Tyrone Johns' family and co-workers.
Car Break In
There is a black car, Florida plates, on the 400 block of R St, Ward 2 side, with a busted rear passenger window. Thieves did not steal the water bottle in the front seat. That portion of road, the part nearest the AfriCare lot, I swear every other month, a car or several cars parked along that portion of street, get broken into.
Move, Get Out The Way
I'm going to guess they are interns and don't know better.... Will the EPA interns from Howard University please move to the center of the train and not block the doors for 3 whole stops. A gaggle of 6 students with shiny new EPA stuff apparently are oblivious to the fact that near the doors, people get on and off the train. They blocked the doors for people getting off at Shaw and they continued to hover at the station side of the train for several stops until their destination at L'Enfant.
Labels: crime, transportation
When tranny hookers attack
From the Shaw Neighborhood Yahoo Group via the GLLU Newsletter (gllunewsletter@ gllu.org):
On 5/25/09, at approximately 2:30 a.m., members of the First District responded to a call for an assault in the area of the 600 block of K Street, N.W. According to the victim, he walked in the area confront the prostitutes in his neighborhood. As he was admonishing them, one of the women, who the victim described as a male-to-female Transgender individual, grabbed him between his legs and made sexual advances towards him. The suspect fled the scene prior to the officer's arrival, however her identity is known. The victim was not injured.
I had thought the development round there had removed some of the gals from the area, I guessed wrong. But then again I'm not over there at 2AM. The lesson here is keep a safe distance from the working girls, they fight back.
Labels: crime, glbt, other neighborhoods
This sort of is related to an earlier post "Is this neighborhood safe?"
, but that was about the streets. This is a reflection about home.
My house came with bars on the doors and windows. The front 1st floor window had an AC cage big enough for a monster sized window unit. No air conditioner I've ever had ever filled that cage, and it jutted out so far I was constantly in fear of beaning myself on the head when gardening. When I had the big renovation done in 2007 a neighbor inquired if I was going to remove those bars, as others had done after so fix up. Uh, no. Fast forward to a month ago when I had the neighborhood handyman remove the A/C cage, with the idea of replacing the bars with something that was flush with the building. Well he removed the cage and left the bottom half of my window bar-less for 2-3 days. Those were 2-3 anxiety filled days.
Problem was that window did not lock. It gets stuck and you could break your fingers trying to open the damned thing, but it does not lock. Also a few months ago two houses on my block were broken into, and one of the burgled houses had just put new bars on the windows.
So honestly, as much as I would like to not have bars on my windows, I don't think I'm there yet. I'm not at that place where I would feel at peace having no bars on my front first floor window. I know that our neighborhood would look much more inviting if there were no security gates on the doors or iron work on the windows. But despite the great and wonderful changes there is still that sticky element of crime. Even if the only thing worth stealing is the TV, I still want to keep out thieves (and zombies, but that's another post). I do entertain the idea of changing, not removing, the iron work to something more aesthetically pleasing.
Labels: crime, quality of life
How I'm Going to Die
One day a car is going to hit me, I swear.
Yesterday, riding the bike to work I'm in the f'ing bus/bike lane, and it doesn't help that the stretch of 9th St is pockmarked and uneven, when a car swoops up behind me. IN THE BUS/BIKE ONLY LANE! The bloody thing could have hit me as I was trying deal with the bumps and dips in the road.
A few days before that when on foot, I was crossing Rhode Island along 7th Street and a car turning on to RI doesn't even pretend to slow down. I was in the crosswalk and I had the light, though the little red hand was flashing. But still.
Once again I say, I'm more likely to get hit by a car than shot. Despite the shooting spree that has popped up around here, the four wheeled monster is still my greatest danger. I've been here now for eight years and the sound of random gunfire has gone down while my near misses with cars have gone up.
And while I'm ranting, wear your bike helmets people! Stop at the light and look both ways before crossing.
Labels: crime, transportation
There seems to be some confusion about a shooting that took place near the Florida Avenue Park and a petition regarding the Bloomingdale Farmers Market
. Not related to the shooting that took place during rush hour on North Capitol
. I was at the market, and there was a petition going around regarding a show of appreciation to the neighbors for allowing the market to return for a 3rd year.
And joy-joy from the BACA blog of speed humps and a stop sign coming
around 3rd Street and 4th.
Speaking of BACA, there is still time to a- buy a ticket from me for the Flower Power Walk, which raises funds for neighborhood beautification. Those rose bushes on 1st Street.... BACA, not the City, BACA. And b- nominate your neighbors' BACA yards for Flower Power.
Labels: BACA, crime
Self-righteous tourists vandalize Logan Circle Bank
I thought it was a mistake when I read the Washington Post about the IMF protesters breaking windows at 14th and P of the PNC and Wachovia banks.
Seriously, you have to get through Dupont to get here from the IMF offices. There are banks there. Should Trinidad be on high alert?
On my way back to church I went to take a look and lo and behold, plywood, bringing a little ghetto back to the hood. There was a security guard out in front of Wachovia and the ATM for Wachovia was working fine, as there was a short line. The sidewalks of the 1400 block of P Street were filled with diners. So besides the plywood it was a normal looking Sunday.
Supposedly the vandals had an ideological problem with banks. Something, blah, blah, about foreclosures. You wanna prevent foreclosures? Ban mortgages. Tell people if they don't have 100% the money up front, they can't buy a house.
Labels: crime, tourism
From today's Bates Area Civic Association Blog
comes news that the accused juvenile attacker has been arrested.
Papered Arrests in the TC
From The 5D Court Report for March 2009
Date of Arrest/Time/Charge/ Defendant's Name/ Location of Offense
3/3/09 20:23 POSS OF A CONTROL SUBSTANCE -MISD ROSE, KARL F/O 1625 N CAP NE
3/6/09 19:39 POSS W/I TO DIST A CONTROL SUBSTANCE HANDY, LEROY A 45 New York Ave, NW
3/18/09 00:30 POSS OF A CONTROL SUBSTANCE -MISD WELLS, TONY D 107 Q ST NW
3/18/09 18:50 POSS W/I TO DIST A CONTROL SUBSTANCE WALLS, LARRY A UNIT BLK OF HANOVER PL NW
3/19/09 20:25 ASSAULT ON A POLICER OFFICER-DANG WEAPON HOWARD, JAMES 1300 N.CAP ST NW
3/24/09 16:10 POSS OF A CONTROL SUBSTANCE -MISD PHILLIPS, HOUSTON UNIT BLK OF HANOVER PL NW
3/26/09 14:50 DIST OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE SMITH, ERIC D unit blck new York Ave, NW
3/28/09 16:00 POSS OF A CONTROL SUBSTANCE -MISD BURNEY, SHENEISE 100 BLK Q ST NW
3/31/09 10:22 ASSAULT WITH A DANGEROUS WEAPON HERRING, CALVIN 1200 blk of Kirby St, NW
Not in 5D but close enough to be of interest:
308 3/19/09 02:30 ASSAULT ON A POLICER OFFICER-DANG WEAPON EFREW, KIFLE 1544 NEW JERSEY AVE NW
308 3/19/09 02:30 POSS OF A CONTROL SUBSTANCE -MISD RICHARDSON, OZIAS 1544 BLK NEW JERSEY AVE NW
Hopefully this is the end of crime week at InShaw.
Pray for Jennifer
I really hate hearing about these sort of things. Because everytime, I swear everytime, things begin to look better, when it looks like the past has passed, crap like this pops up. I got the following in an email:
I am surprised that there is no mentioned in your report of the assault on Sunday of Jennifer Ragins of ### Bates Street. She was one of the instrumental people that started Bates Street Civic Association. She was attacked by a wantobe thug. This thug blind sided her with punches.
She was taken to the hospital. This thug lives at ### P Street NW.
This is a house that has been raided by the police several times. This 15- year-old thud attacked a person twice his age. He is twice her size and weights twice as much. What African American parent raise a child to seek and attach a grown woman. I cannot say an alleged attack because there are witnesses that saw it and also heard him brag about it.
It was not a robbery because he took nothing. This was a set-up by the drug boys to silence someone who has been instrumental in improving this neighborhood. The 20 years plus I have live here, I have been a mentor and tutored to many young folks. However, there are those that are not reachable and need to be dealt with accordingly. This is one. I hear that a warrant has been issue but he has not been arrested. Where can a 15-year-old go to avoid arrest unless he has criminal help.
Jennifer needs your prayers and support. I hope that as this crime was occurring, those folks who were aware of it assisted in helping her as I did when a white woman on my street was attached. I did not bother about the color, I placed my self in harms way and I think if I had not she would have received more harm as in the case of Jennifer.
We can not just look out for our clicks or have our private groups. You cannot have an e-mail system or group that only glorify your click. For this community to address these types of criminal elements, all of us need to take a stand.
I've blocked the house numbers for privacy reasons. Jennifer and I don't see eye to eye on the neighborhood's name, and some other things, but she's in need of our prayers, thoughts, and support. Pray for healing and justice.
Labels: crime, neighbors
Sexual Assualt in 3D
I wish I could find another source other than DCist on this
about a home invasion on Marion Street NW in Shaw. The MPD website
has nada, this isn't the first time I haven't been able to get wanted/information posters, whatever from the MPD site. According to DCist:
The suspect, described as a medium complexioned black male in his late 20s, 5'10", wearing a black jacket and blue jeans, may have entered through an unlocked door. Kucik reminded residents to ensure doors and windows are locked at night, and to call 911 if you see any suspicious subjects in the area.
UPDATE: Source on the 3d listserv- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MPD-3d/message/6273
Robbery on R
I saw it on the TruxtonCircle.org discussion list and there was this on the 5D listserv:
RPT DATE: Mar 31, 2009
START DT: 03/31/2009
START TM: 20:57:00
END DT: 03/31/2009
There is no street or block but the time and the sidewalk location makes me think that it is the same sad crime that occurred Tuesday when a man was collecting his garbage can near his home. It makes no sense, but DC criminals have their own logic.
I pray this is an isolated crime. But I know that the stretch to the better and safer neighborhood we deserve will have these set backs.
Speaking of crime in the TC, I was informed of two incidents, I think happening in the same month of burglaries on Sq 509E. One was where the thief got in through a tiny back window and stole cash from a New Jersey Avenue home. The other was another burglary on 4th, I don't know the specifics but it occurred when the occupant was out of town. I can't stress the importance of having a neighbor look in on your place when you're on vacation or a business trip. Papers, chinese restuarant menus, and gold and brown notes from the UPS guy pile up and scream 'We're not home!'
Is this neighborhood safe
A few months ago whilst shopping at Timor, I got to chatting with a fellow (cause , people hang out and chat @ the Timor) about a question. He was saying he was talking with a guy about become a roommate and the guy had asked if the neighborhood was safe. I get that question too when looking for roommates. I hate that question.I feel safe, but I don't know about you
Most of the time when I'm walking back from the metro after work, I feel safe enough. But I'm aware. I'm aware that muggings and other street crimes occur. And I remain somewhat aware of my surroundings, though Jimbo
and I disagree on if I'm still aware with one earphone in my ear. Most of the time I feel safe enough, within reason.
However, when I get the question, "Do you feel safe around here?" I tend to dissect the question. I still have a reference textbook from library school with a section on questions. The problem is some questions that people ask are not the right questions to get to the information they want to know. So the question I think they are really asking is if they would feel safe around here. And I really can't answer that well.
I can't answer it because, typically I don't know the person well enough. I don't know what risks they take. Do they walk home after 10PM, at 1AM? Sober, buzzed or drunk? Do they constantly walk and yabber on their cell phone or zone out with their ipod? Do they have a car? How well do they lock their bike? But I do answer the question, and depending on my mood determines the answer I give. And really the neighborhood is as safe as you are.
Labels: crime, quality of life
A couple years back there was a huge, huge rash of scooters being stolen. Criminals had gotten so brash as to attempt to scooter-jack people. I don't know if scooter crime disappeared for a short while, but the reports of a scooter getting stolen in southern part of the TC brought back memories.
On-line on the 5D listserv there was some good back and forth between the person reporting the stolen scooter and the police. Over on the TruxtonCircle.org discussion list TC residents are keeping an eye out for the scooter. In all this a stolen scooter was located but not the one stolen from Hanover St. NW.
So, be on the lookout for a blue/black Kymco scooter
, license plate MT6797.
Mugging at 3rd and R on Monday
I don't know how I could have missed this
, as I don't remember seeing anything on the 5D Listserv, nor the TruxtonCircle
or discussion board. So hat-tip to ImGoph for linking the PoP's posting on his Bloomingdale blog.
'Cause apparently what little I heard from the DC cop wasn't sounding all that sympathetic.
To the owners of the vehicles parked on the 400 block of R Street, next to the Africare lot, you have my sympathies. But living in the burbs won't make you immune to knuckleheads smashing your windows. And to counter what I heard, just because we live in the city doesn't mean we're supposed to accept being victims of vandalism. My cousin who lives in the far reaches of Fairfax Co. told me that a whole block of tires were slashed in his subdivision. So the whiff of suggesting that moving to VA or MD is not a crime prevention suggestion.
Anyone else get this scam?
At last night's BACA meeting a few of us were talking and discovered that many of us were contacted by some very possible scammer.
The way it goes is you get a phone call or phone message on your land line supposedly from some Federal Credit Union. I've gotten two phone calls and it was never clear what the exact name of the credit union was. The first time I just hung up on it because it clearly wasn't my credit union so why bother, wrong number. The second time, I had time to kill and was curious, so I pressed one. Then it asked me for my 16 digit account number. Oh heck naw. I hung up.
Apparently no one else picks up their phone so the Phishing Credit Union has been leaving messages for people to call a 1-800 number. Neighbors who have called the fake credit union fearful that their real credit union accounts (the message is a bit garbled on the name) would be frozen have been prompted to put in their account information. Luckily, we're all bright people and this raises red flags.
I'm sure there is some governmental agency you can contact regarding this scam. Maybe DCRA. Maybe Harry Thomas Jr. Maybe call up your real credit union, warn them too.
UPDATE= Here's what some local Credit Unions are telling their members"
State Employees Credit Union:
Another incident of phishing!
Below is a text message that was received recently by an actual SECU member. This is an example of a current form of phishing that fraudsters use to obtain account information from unsuspecting account holders. There are many forms that name various financial institutions, phone numbers to contact and types of cards (credit, debit, ATM).
“Notice/ This is an automated message from Bank-Fund Staff F.C.U. Your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call urgent at 1-909-978-6050.”
If you receive this message or a similar message, DO NOT RESPOND! Instead, call SECU at 800-879-7328 to alert our Security and Fraud team.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union:
There is a new phishing scam in progress by phone and SMS text message from 213-596-7693. The message is as follows: "This is an automated message that your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call 1-410-910-0787."
Once the number is dialed there is a request that the listener press 1 for more information. Pressing 1 transfers to a follow-up request for the account number, PIN, authorization code, etc.
Please remember that we will NEVER contact you by phone or email and ask for your PIN or account information.
This information is personal and confidential to you, our Member, and under no cirumstances would we require this information over the phone, text message or via email.
A few useful things
MPD has a crime mapping thing
, that as of this morning the map feature does not like Firefox or Macs. You too can get the same thrill the police get when looking at statistics that say that crime is down. However, you are tempered by the fact that the latest victim of the theft from auto was your neighbor and the fact that there are fewer thefts from autos is of little comfort. I went down to the level of my block and discovered crime is down in almost everything, except one thing where it is up by several hundred percent.
If you didn't notice it on the right hand side of the blog I have links to find when the next 96, or G2 is coming, which sometimes is operational. There is a NextBus for the 96, the 90, the G8, the G2, the P2, and others
. Poking around I found Nextbus for PG Co.
Labels: crime, transportation
Take the cab
I type this advice as I remember my last trek home at night I walked alone. I did take a series of buses, and wound up at a point (5 blocks from the house) where I couldn't mentally justify paying for a cab. I completely acknowledge that it wasn't my brightest moment.
Tuesday there was a Shaw murder where the victim was walking home. Truxton resident, Durval Martins, was killed at 11th and Q
around 3 AM.
If you're cheap like me you probably loathe spending money for a cab, but if you are going out at night, mentally add cab fare to that night's expenses. Tuck away $10-$20 bucks before you head out to the clubs or wherever, for cab fare. Seriously, if you're coming back home in the wee AM hours, be safe and take a cab. The eyes on the street have gone to bed and you're on your own. Hail a cab. If there are no cabs where you are, get over to a major street and keep a sharp eye out or have the establishment where you're leaving call the cab for you.
From the 5D listserv:
ATTENTION BLOOMINGDALE, BATES & SHAW COMMUNITIES
THE FIFTH DISTRICT PROUDLY ANNOUNCES THE CAPTURE OF KENNY LEWIS.
Kenny Lewis was wanted for a Felony Assault that occurred on October 16, 2008, in the 400 B/O Q Street, NW. He is also the suspect in several assaults against women & robberies.
Okay now who is the judge we write statements to? Because if Mr. Lewis is found guilty by a jury of 12 DC citizens (or pleads guilty), the community needs to let the sentencing judge know how crimes against women in our neighborhood impact our lives, even though we weren't the ones assaulted. Rest assured that Mr. Lewis probably has relatives and friends who will argue that he's really good or misunderstood or deserving of some sort of mercy that will put him back on the streets unrehabilitated.
Stupefying Illogical Criminals
There was a mugging in the NW corner of the TC this weekend as reported on the TruxtonCircle.Org discussion board. A group of youths violently attacked a couple and their reasoning makes no sense (see below). I’m sorry, I don’t think any under funded city run youth program can redeem these criminals. The unnecessary violence used reveals a deep corruption of spirit, that may reveal a moral poverty in their family life. There are too many kids looking to beat people up. Anyway here's what was reported…
Around 1 a.m. this am at 4th and Rst, NW Three men and a woman were mugged by a group of at least a dozen youths, some on bikes. The agressors threw the woman against a tree and punched one man in the face. Another one had been struck in the leg.
The group of kids were black, all male, from what I gathered, ages 12-17. The victims described them as "highschoolers." They approached the victims from several directions, and initially threw a bottle or can over the heads of the victims. The kids wanted their wallets and phones. One of the victims yelled at kid, causing him to run away, without obtaining the wallet. Another kid said this was "for Obama."
Wanted for violence against women
From the flier from the crime meeting I didn't go to:
The above subject is wanted for "Felony Assault" warrant number 2008CRW003906 by the Fifth District Detective's Office. The assault occurred on October 16, 2008 in the 400 block Q Street NW. Please contact Detective Martin at 202 698 0660
IF THE ABOVE SUBJECT IS SEEN DO NOT APPROACH, CALL THE POLICE
Subject's description- Name: Kenneth Lewis; Year of Birth 1984; Height- 5'09"; Weight-165 lbs
Something bad happened at Catania Bakery
I have no details but when I wandered over there around 8something AM there was a cruiser and a bakery delivery van blocking off the alley. In front there were a couple of the Latino workers, a cop, and a woman with her dog hanging out in front. When I got closer to the entrance I saw a sign saying there wouldn't be any retail sales today. I asked the Latino guys. There English and my Spanish, not so good. All I got was the word assault out of the whole thing. The cop was busy chatting with the lady with the dog, and I asked if anyone was hurt. No. With that I headed home.
Book Review: Home Girl: Building a dream house on a lawless block, pt 2
See part 1 here
One chapter says it well, "Nice Bones, Rotten Organs". Besides the drug trade going on outside the author's house the other main drama of the book is the renovation of the house she bought in Harlem. I have to say I've been lucky. I found one main contractor for the big stuff and I have stuck with him and it has been a good relationship. The author, Judith Matloff, sadly has a multi-ethnic, multi-skilled, multi-competent, crew tearing her house apart at any one moment. Old houses are like old people, they are charming but they do have problems that come with age, and poor maintenance. Part way through fixing the place up she calls in some experts who come up with a laundry list of things that needed addressing.
I'm also lucky in that I got to live in my house long enough to have a clue of what it needed and how I wanted to live in it, before taking on major renovations. I know, for me, that my bedroom only needs to be functional, and not some oasis or retreat from the world. And then there are a bunch of things that I wanted to customize to the way I live and want to live (radiators, claw foot tub, Corian counter tops, etc), that no developer could ever foresee. But enough about me.
The second major theme is the business of drug dealing and it is a business. It confirms Sudhir Venkatesh's work in looking at the drug dealing that goes on in the streets of Chicago, NYC and DC as a business with a hierarchy. In Gang Leader for a Day
, the manager of the drug trade was J.T., in this book it is Miguel. Our street has one too, and so reading Matloff's and Venkatesh's experiences, re-affirms what I am (thankfully) seeing less of, on my street each year. Managers, main drug leaders, whatever tend to be a little older (in their 20s or early 30s) and keep their foot soldiers, the younger men selling, running, looking out, etc in line. A manger's primary interest is to move product with as little interruption as possible. Which on the good side means they are not interested in starting up turf wars or any other activity that would bring greater police presence. This is illustrated (in a chapter I'm currently at a loss to find), when the author is very pregnant, is threatened by a female crackhead and her boyfriend on the author's front stoop. She calls the cops, however Miguel lets it be known that if she had just informed him, instead of calling the cops (bad for business) he would have taken care of it.
I know it sounds strange, but in these situations it is not unusual to work out some sort of 'peace' with the dealers, while at the same time battling the drug trade through other channels. As a middle class (white <- gets you extra bonus points) homeowner, you are a factor to be managed, just like the drug runners are managed. Maybe fear motivates you, or maybe a desire for peace and quiet. You're too expensive to buy off or not needy enough to buy into the underground economy. If you're white, I and a few others, perceive that your calls to the police carry greater weight. So the manager of the drug trade has to 'manage' this factor.
This working relationship is an aspect I really appreciate about Home Girl
. Matloff, I believe shows how these things come into being, and explains it in a way of why such a thing is maintained. This is just one of the many issues and challenges of moving into and living in a transitional neighborhood.
I'll follow up with more, when I get around to it.
Labels: crime, gentrification
WANTED: Robert Hannah "Rob"
UPDATE= DCist reports
that an arrest has been made!
Robert Hannah, aka “Rob,” is wanted on an outstanding Felony Warrant for Voluntary Manslaughter in connection with the beating death of Tony Hunter which occurred at 8th & N Street, NW, in September 2008. Hannah is described as a 18-year-old black male (date of birth: 8/11/1990), 5' 7" in height, and 148 lbs. His last known address is in the 1100 block of McCullough Court, NW. He is known to frequent the area around 7th & O Streets, NW. Download a PDF WANTED poster for distribution.
The case is under investigation by members of the Homicide and Sexual Offenses Branch. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Detective Jed Worrell on 202 645-9618 or 202 486-1596 (cell); Detective Jackie Middleton on 202 645-5501 or 202 497-4606 (cell); or the Metropolitan Police Department’s Command Information Center (CIC) at 202 727-9099. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call 1-888-919-CRIM [E]. Anonymous information may also be forwarded to the department's TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411
--originally posted 10/10/08
Labels: crime, glbt
Anyone around 3rd and R hear shots?
Walking to work this morning the police had most of R Street, from Florida to New Jersey Avenues blocked off. I had to ask as I saw the G2 bus rumbling down 4th St (normally rumbles down 3rd), I was told there was a shooting and they were trying to determine where all the shots came from. Then the officer asked me if I had heard anything. Ah, no. I heard nothing this morning. Did you?
UPDATE: According to the Washington Post
a woman was stabbed at the bus stop at 3rd and R, most likely to catch the G2 heading in the direction of Georgetown. That stop is a little isolated with the high chain link fence fortressing the yard of the house on that corner, and diagonally across the Co-Op's high fence, and across Mt. Sinai's education center's parking lot. Please keep the victim in your thoughts and prayers.
A question to ask when you lock your bike
Yesterday I chased a bike thief down my block.
Let me begin my story. I was home sitting on the couch watching some awful afternoon TV movie when I noticed outside my window someone in the yard next door. Then I noticed the fellow reaching over the fence. My first thought was that he was putting trash in my recycle bin. Then I remembered I moved the bin to stop people from throwing trash in it. Second thought was 'is this guy stealing my tomatoes?' And in an instant I realized he wasn't aiming for my tomatoes, the bastard had his hands on my roommate's piece of shyte bike.
I screamed stop kept screaming as I grabbed my keys and headed to open the door and stop him. By the time I got the gate door open the thief was two doors down and had just fallen off the bike leaving it on the sidewalk. He ran down the block and just turned the corner heading towards New Jersey Avenue when I realized I was looking at a man on foot and not a man on bike. I was still yelling at the top of my lungs as I debated for two seconds about unlocking my bike, chasing him and trying to play bicycle thief polo with his head and my u-locks. But I chose to grab my roommate's bike and put the stupid thing back in the yard.
I then did what my roommate should have done. I locked the bike in a way that makes it 'harder' to just lift and ride off with, I locked the rear wheel to the frame. I used one of my locks, and moved my bike inside as it was without it's normal 3 locks. Then I called the roommate and relayed what just happened and fussed.
The almost stolen bike is a piece of crap, which should have been its own anti-theft device. But it is a device that cannot work alone it needs a lock. A properly locked lock. It would have helped it said bike was locked to the fence, which it was not. Short of that it would have helped a lot if said lock was locked to a wheel, which it was not. Instead a newish $35 Kryptonite lock was locked to the frame and nothing else.
Where it was on the frame may have made biking on it difficult, making for a harder 'quick' get away. Add to the fact the bike is heavy and only one speed and no hand brakes, running on foot may have been better if you want to get away from an angry black woman.
So kids, when you lock your bike, look at before you turn your back and ask, can someone lift it and ride away? I got 3 locks, so the answer is, not unless they throw it in the back of a truck.
Be aware of your surroundings
Even as a blogger I do value the MSM (main stream media*)for reporting on things beyond my general vicinity and digging deeper on things that are going on around me, but lately I think MSM has lost its ever loving mind. The message I've been getting is that nobody getting lent any money, my bank is going to go bust, and the world as we know it is going to end.
Take a deep breath and try to match that with what you can ascertain yourself, match that with what is going on around you. I know Poets and Bustboys just opened up a location this week near the Shiney Swanky Safeway, a Safeway mind you with a nut bar, a counter just for nuts. That does not signal a bad economy. Yes, there are foreclosures and short sales on my street. However, several of them involve investors, and there are many more failed flips several blocks around. Their stupidity, bad judgement, and poor cash flow makes me as sympathetic to them as I am to SUV drivers who are suffering due to the high cost of gas.
My bank, unless they are lying to me, is not going to shut down. I belong to a credit union. A boring, fuddy duddy, pain in the butt to get to, non-sub-prime credit union. And the credit union is still offering car, boat, student and house loans, as well as Wachovia, were I keep my food/mad money allowance. When the Wachovia branch at Dunbar and Penn Quarter shut down or cut back, then I'll be concerned. I also own some shares of Wachovia, but their value is pretty much the equivalent of dinner for two at Equinox.
I also have stocks (also the equivalent of dinner for two at a good restaurant, tax, tip and wine included) in Pepco and Washington Gas. I'll worry about them if I can't have lights and there is no heat this winter. And we all have no light or heat then the price of the stocks are the least of our worries.
What of development in Shaw? Well considering all other sorts of other things can stall that, like the developer saying the community can't agree on what design of ugly the library should be, being one example. Or a crazed puppet-regime ANC, throwing a wrench in the works. Or Jemal doesn't feel like it. Or insane taxes on an arts venue.
Take a deep breath. Take a good look at your surroundings. Take off your ipod buds and hear what's going around you, on your street, in the store as you shop. Get off the damned phone and be observant, factor in that people are still driving (like maniacs), they are still fixing up their yards, or still ignoring them like before. People are still walking around, going out, still illegally parking, still doing stuff that does not signal the end of the world.
If you are aware of your surroundings not only do you reduce your risk of being a crime victim, you also may keep yourself sane.
*If I fall into the jargon abrev. trap bring my attention to it.
Labels: crime, drama, media
Hate crimes and regular old muggings
Today coming home from work a neighbor told me that last night up the block a woman was attacked, and the guy who rushed out of the house to help the woman, also beat by the perps. Apparently, I failed to notice the various cops and the helicopter responding to the scene. Add that to other muggings and gay bashing
that I've heard of, this seems to be on the increase. However, I'm tempering it with the sense that things seem to get worse before they get better.
The good that I'm hoping that will come of this post is a reminder that you need to BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. For the love of Pete people too many people are walking along yakking away on cell phones, texting, and rocking out on ipods. I'm not saying live in fear, just be safe. Take a cab if you're drunk. Have your keys out when walking at night. Turn off the mp3 player or at least have one ear free to hear what's coming up behind you. Make the phone call quick and hang up. If you're walking with friends still remain aware.
We've been through this cycle before, let's work to bring back the sense of safety by becoming safe.
Labels: crime, glbt
I've just called the po-po on your bad a$$ed chillun
Thank you other person who also reported the little heathen rock throwers. I'll guess you may also be the adult who yelled at them, and they ignored you. Hopefully the the police will grab them, throw them in juvie and carefully examine their family home life. Seriously, I dislike the state invading the private life of the family, but with rights come responsibilities and somebody isn't being responsible.
If these are the same little bastards that caused over $2000 worth of damage on my block earlier this month, and they are simply continuing on their reign of destruction, I have no sympathy for them. I've heard their mother isn't particularly responsible, claiming that it couldn't have been her babies that engaged in some other mischief on another block. Well right now they are elementary/middle school aged, and if they keep going on the same path, lady you're going to be crying for your babies when they get carted off to prison or the funeral parlor. I mean it's 9:30 PM, at night. Why aren't your pint sized terrors at home?
Oh and to anyone on 3rd Street or Bates with a broken/ chipped/ cracked car window, it was the kids, not the crackheads.
Catch last night's ghetto bird?
Round about 10:30 last night I heard what sounded like kids setting off a couple of fireworks in the alley. I guess I was wrong because after hearing two sets of "fireworks" or a couple of a couple of loud pops, I hear a helicopter. Then later I hear the neighborhood kids carrying on. When I looked out they were dancing in the spotlight of the circling whirlybird. Kids are weird.
The helicopter made a couple of passes beaming down a strong light on our block. Then it went away. And the only sound left was the kids yakking in the street.
Fun with the DC Code: Disturbing the Peace
Here's something to ponder the next time you get to argue with the 911 dispatcher about the guys on the corner (bolds are mine):
Division IV. Criminal Law and Procedure and Prisoners.
Title 22. Criminal Offenses and Penalties. (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle I. Criminal Offenses.
Chapter 13. Disturbances of the Public Peace.
§ 22-1307. Unlawful assembly; profane and indecent language.
It shall not be lawful for any person or persons within the District of Columbia to congregate and assemble in any street, avenue, alley, road, or highway, or in or around any public building or enclosure, or any park or reservation, or at the entrance of any private building or enclosure, and engage in loud and boisterous talking or other disorderly conduct, or to insult or make rude or obscene gestures or comments or observations on persons passing by, or in their hearing, or to crowd, obstruct, or incommode, the free use of any such street, avenue, alley, road, highway, or any of the foot pavements thereof, or the free entrance into any public or private building or enclosure; it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to curse, swear, or make use of any profane language or indecent or obscene words, or engage in any disorderly conduct in any street, avenue, alley, road, highway, public park or enclosure, public building, church, or assembly room, or in any other public place, or in any place where from the same may be heard in any street, avenue, alley, road, highway, public park or enclosure, or other building, or in any premises other than those where the offense was committed, under a penalty of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both for each and every such offense.
(July 29, 1892, 27 Stat. 323, ch. 320, § 6; July 8, 1898, 30 Stat. 723, ch. 638; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 97, ch. 159, § 210.)
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
1981 Ed., § 22-1107; 1973 Ed., § 22-1107.; DC CODE § 22-1307
Okay the problem seems that the language hasn't been changed since 1892, but hey, it's the DC Code, use that outmoded lingua to your advantage.
Get more of that funky code here
Take back the alley, if only for an hour
I have heard from some dog owners that a good way to keep the 'activity' down is to walk your dogs through the alley. This is not for every one and every alley. Another thing I was told, was cutting down the weeds and removing the trash, so the dealers would have fewer places to hide their products.
So for about and hour or so I took to cleaning a small part of my alley. I leave the regular maintenance to alley cleaning man, his broom, and his tersely written signs. I had a big garbage bag, some gardening gloves, some garden tools and a hatchet. For entertainment, music and an earphone in one ear, leaving the other free to listen out for cars that are occasionally known to drive through.
While I was cleaning and whacking down weeds I noticed a man on a cell phone near the mouth of the alley pacing by and looking down the alley. I got the feeling that if I weren't in the alley he would have walked down it. Then a little bit later a red sedan, possibly mid to early 1990s model, started to turn into the alley. I moved out of the way, but it had enough room to change plans, and not come down the alley. About 10 minutes later, I swear the same car began to turn into the alley on the other end, backed up and drove away.
Well, 8 feet of the alley is now weed free-ish, and trash free, and whatever was to have happened in the alley thwarted.
My greatest danger is anything with a motor
Once again, I am nearly run down by a SUV. If I hadn't read my paper I would have communicated to the driver of the SUV that I was much displeased by his nearly mowing me down by flinging my plastic wrapped newspaper at him. Instead I used my words. I had the right of way, he was making a right on to 7th, and the crossing sign had just lit up and was counting down when I stepped into the crosswalk of DEATH.
A week ago I was 10 seconds away from getting hit. At New Jersey Ave and R the light had just turned green for R, and I was still a ways on the sidewalk, and thought of running for it, but I was carrying something heavy and didn't. If I had I might have been in the way of the sedan speeding north on New Jersey that didn't seem to think that red light was meant for him. He did stop a few feet past the crosswalk to keep from hitting the car, travelling west on R, and the cyclist, also travelling on R.
Guns are the least of my worries when every other day I have to take care that I don't get hit by some jackhole behind the wheel.
Labels: crime, transportation
Broken Window Practice
as opposed to theory.
Be on the lookout for pre-teen boys on bicycles. One is wearing a red shirt with white writing. The lil' bastards are throwing rocks and breaking windows in alleys. I screamed at the hellions when I realized rocks were hitting my house. They weren't aiming for my house, they were aiming for the house next door with the new windows. Rocks and bits of concrete were landing in my yard, damaging my plants, hitting my walls.
I mentioned this to a neighbor walking by and apparently there is a band of bicycling young hoodlums looking for vacant properties and trying to bust out all the windows. They failed with the house next to me, they only got one. I'm sure they would have knocked out more if I didn't come out screaming like a loud crazy woman.
I called the owner of the house next door, told him what just happened. I'll let him do a police report if he wants to, as it is his property and his loss.
Oh and a word of advice, get those Pella, and Anderson and [name of brand of windows] off the windows asap, they are attracting an element.
Keep chipping away, 'cause I think I see a dent
Watching the 400 block of Q, on the Ward 2 side has been interesting for the past year or so. More so in the past couple of months. As some of you know that block has been the domain of some fellows keeping court on the sidewalk. Drug dealing has been suspected and then there was that shooting incident.
Since the shooting the police presence has been noticeable. At least a few times a week I see a cruiser being all flashy in the area where the guys hang. Sometimes it's one cop car, sometimes two. And on really special occasions they bring out the guys in the fancy bulletproof vests. There was a cruiser flashing yesterday afternoon, and some of the regulars & friends decided to go to the store and watch the excitement of the 3rd District, from the 5th.
Even when I don't see the police there is a change on that block, however it isn't a done deal. Police and residents will need to keep working on that block to make sure that trees that grow shoes and a sidewalk blocking crowd is a thing of the past. So keep chipping away friends.
Labels: crime, quality of life
Anytime you head out of town and come back, it takes awhile to catch up with things. Though I did want to type out something before I left, I just got too busy.
Thursday, the day I was supposed to head out with the time challenged family members, I ran into a FOX5 reporter and his handy dandy camera man. I had walked up to them to ask what horrid thing had happened now. He was asking residents about the shotspotter. I'll sum up what I said, 'let's wait and see' if it actually helps with crime. We've noticed how crime has adjusted to the cameras. After walking away, I thought a bit more about safety. The shotspotter coupled with the camera don't make me feel any safer. They are good to have and deal with certain trouble spots in the neighborhood.
I've told folks before that I'm more worried and more likely to get hit with a car (SUV probably) than shot. Shootings are a concern, but various risk factors and what I encounter day to day that erode or bolster my sense of safety place other things higher on the list. Those other things don't always result in death, but they sure shatter your sense of safety. Getting hit by a moving vehicle tops the list, followed by break ins. Sadly, in the second year Square 507 (block w/ Richardson Pl)has experienced another rash of break ins. One house (from what I can understand) was broken into for the second time. The owner moved out, I gather as a result, more from the 1st, the 2nd probably just reaffirmed the moving. At the civic meeting the Police point towards declining crime figures. However, that isn't any comfort when you're a victim.
The other non-fatal thing that brings down my sense of feeling safe, are assaults. I've seen a man go after another man with a knife. A man attack some other men with a 2x4. Had neighbors attacked by 'kids' with rock throwing, a beat down, and a bad dog. And just yesterday, as I was weeding my tree box, a man, who may have been drunk or high began pestering me. What began as just annoying turned into threatening. Luckily nothing physical happened and the man kept walking while threatening and verbally assaulting me. I really don't see how that can be solved with the shot-spotter.
Despite all that I feel safer than I did when I moved here. There are fewer vacant houses on the block and more people around. There were at least two people I could have cried out to, who I knew were just feet away. There are fewer 'characters' roaming up and down the streets. There are more concerned and involved people. I hear fewer gun shots. As I walk around the neighborhood on my way to the metro, or to the store, over to a friends house, I don't feel as stressed or as wary as long ago.
Labels: crime, quality of life
Over on the MVSQ neighborhood blog there is a map
pointing out all sorts of interesting things like MPD Crime Cameras, daytime loitering spots, and suspected residences of 'troublemakers'.
It has crossed my mind to put up such a type of map, however my concerns and lack of Photoshop or other photoediting software (no I haven't tested out all the software on the mac) takes away any enthusiasm for pursuing such a thing. Concerns are as follows in order: libel, bad info, suburban idiots using it to locate a place to score drugs, said idiots getting shot, and other legal liabities. However, a map pointing out loitering problem spots should be easy to do.
Stuck in the year 2001
After gettin' my hair did 'round U Street I ventured up by bike looking for the new Harris Teeter near 17th Street. I took the long, I'm lost, roundabout route veering over to 19th Street, and then asking for directions. After getting a few things I headed back home heading to 16th St, I saw the Meridian Park and remembered back to 2001.
It has been 7 years since I've been at that exact corner on a bike. Hit with this sudden flashback, I turned my head looking back at the street I just biked up and said, wasn't there an open drug market there? In 2001, Jose, a guy from a dance class I was taking was having a house warming party somewhere in Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights. I was living at 12th & Rhode Island, so I figured I just bike up to the party. When I turned off from 16th St NW, heading west on either Crescent or Belmont (can't exactly remember) I biked straight into the biggest open air drug market I had ever seen. Many people were milling about, and some were sort of looking at me like I might be selling.
Until I got groceries at Harris Teeter, that memory was part of my mental map of that part of town. It's sort of like outdated satellite imagery, you know it's out of date, but it's all you got.
There are so many other parts of the city where it has been a good forever and a half since I've been there, like the DC part of Takoma Park and Deanwood. Then again there are parts of the city where I haven't to at all.
Labels: crime, other neighborhoods
Boyz on the street
...have relocated, cut back normal operating hours and have reduced staff.
I've noticed one crew of young men who regularly stand in a spot have relocated a small portion of their numbers to a secondary location. This spot has been the focus of some city attention (tree trimming, busts) and I have heard tell that after one shooting incident residents are calling the police more.
Over on my side of NJ Ave the numbers are down but not zero. I compare the situation to what it was like 7 years ago. Old timers compare the situation to what it was like 20 years ago or more. It's like ghost stories at camp, but it's standing around a stoop instead of sitting around a campfire. They tell tale of dealers all along the sidewalk, who were so brazen they had furniture set up and made it difficult for people who lived on the street to get back to their homes from work (or where ever). Anyway, we do have the guys hanging out but their movements and spots are not regular as in days past. They still have an outpost at the corner north of me, but there isn't someone there at all times. They will split when the weather is bad (rain, hail, freezing temps) unlike the older days when they'd stick it out in the rain. They have opened a new branch at the corner south of me, however their hold on it seems unstable and it is not regularly staffed either. In between there is a house or two to visit, but the residents have to be home or else someone is going to call the cops.
The situation has changed in the past 7 years that make hanging out and possibly doing a few drug sales on the side harder. Not in order of importance or anything but for one, walkers and joggers. People are walking their dogs and their kids, sometimes both, at all hours. In the morning when I go to work, in the middle of the day (the work at home people), in the evening and at night. These are eyes on the street and snouts in the treeboxes. Apparently, I've been told, if neighbors regularly walk their dogs through the alley that cuts down on any dealings in the alley. Second, fewer vacant buildings. Vacant buildings made lovely spots to stash stuff, conduct business, whatever. Third, fewer customers. Gauging street traffic and foot traffic changes there is more noise than signal. Fewer crackheads walking around, more law-abiding residents, joggers, and dogs. I don't know if gas prices* will cut down on the MD and VA customer base, maybe. Fourth, fewer recruits. Not just dealers but numbers of kids to be look outs, decoys, and fewer persons to provide cover and excuses.
Even with their dwindled numbers I don't expect the boyz to disappear completely anytime soon. They may be able to bring in new dealers, but without a supporting infrastructure the enterprise might not be worth the effort and hassle.
*I'm gonna blame gas prices on everything from the cost of food to the frizzes in my hair.
Sucide attempt on 400 blk of Q
NBC 4 reports
a woman who tried to hang herself from a tree.
Shots on the block
Sometime between or before 4-4:30pm there was shooting at the intersection of R and 4th St NW. No one, as far as I know was harmed. Police taped off the 1700 block of the intersection as they collected evidence (I gather).
Your Privacy is in Your Hands
In a professional seminar sometime back when I was working for an association and not the govt. the topic was keeping confidential and company secrets. One of the main things about keeping company or organizational secrets is identifying what those secrets are and having a system in place that keeps private things private. It basically boiled down to you are in charge and you have to take charge in keeping your secrets. So to the young man on the bus today, the reason why everybody knows your business is because you keep broadcasting private things in public.
For one Mr. Brown (I think that's the name you said), keep your voice down. Yes, it is a bus, and you got to compete with the noise. The problem is though, although you are talking to your buddy who may be in the seat next to you or on the other side of the aisle, those of us a few seats up could hear you quite nicely. Second, try to be uninteresting or vague. The story of your arrest this weekend on a violation of a stay away order, the failure of the police to find whatever it was that you wanted to smoke and or sell after several searches, and the cops failure on other occasions to find either a gun or clips on you, does perk up the ears of strangers. Your storytelling is quite engaging. Thirdly, leave out some details. Your story included your age (18), your school (I didn't recognize the name so it didn't stick with me), where your stay away order was, your court date, the fact that you have a CO (whatever that it) and possibly your last name.
Maybe the reason everyone knows your business, is you. I didn't go looking for this info. You put it out there. Don't feel bad, there are others who complain about people being up all in their business, who also, for their own reasons also broadcast their business.
This is just an illustration. Considering the city hasn't acknowledged my real estate relief program for dead people find, I highly doubt MPD will bother reading this, check their records for an 18 yr old (you have an alto voice, and at first I thought you were a woman, but your details say male) who was arrested and held this weekend for violating a stay away, to get a warrant to check your dad's house for an unregistered weapon.
For anyone about to suggest I call 911 to report this, I say, no. It doesn't have enough to pass the 'is it worth getting into an argument with the dispatcher' test. No, I'm saving up my future 9111 call for where I can get into a discussion with the dispatcher where I am questioned if a crime is really actually taking place, or just my imagination or misinterpretation of the law.
Labels: crime, transportation
Books & seeds
I stopped by the Big Bear to check out their little library
and pickup some coffee grounds for ye olde compost bin. Not much there on the bookshelf so I'll be seeing what I can spare from my shelves, that might make for an interesting coffeehouse read.
Currently I'm reading Sudhir A. Venkatesh's American Project
and I'm only at page 87. It isn't as much of a page turner as his Gang Leader for a Day
, it covers around about the same material but is more academic, and talks more about the governmental bodies that play a role in the history and operations of the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago. There were a few things that have caught my attention so far in the book. One was the story of the Robert Taylor Homes starting off as mixed income housing and how policies helped turned it into a poor people warehouse. The second thing is the underground economy developing and the incentives for relatively benign activities to be driven underground. On this second thing, the underground economy included child care services, food and craft production, car repair, hair styling, subleasing, and under the table labor as well as criminal commerce such as selling stolen items, drugs, gambling, prostitution and 'protection.' What I find fascinating are the incentives that keep the non-criminal stuff underground. Anyway, when I'm done with the book I will add it to the BB library.
On seeds, I only got one bite for an exchange. I'll try again. Any one want to engage in a seed swap meet?
Labels: crime, gardening, misc
Remember the chapter in Freakonomics "Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms?" Well go up a little in the heirarchy and expand it, and you have Dr. Sudhir Venkatesh's Gang Leader for a Day
a 302 page book about the years Dr. Venkatesh hung out with a drug dealing gang in the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago. I could barely put this book down as it was so interesting.
I couldn't help but think of our own little groups around the hood as I read and I held on to various themes in my head. One theme being nature abhors a vacuum, particularly in terms of power. The gangs were one power group, controlling or working with, or negotiating with other groups. The other theme was that of complexity. Drugs were one source of income, the gangs also levied taxes on squatters, prostitutes, and hustlers. However the gangs weren't the only ones collecting 'taxes' on underground trade.
Two things that I thought were most useful in the book, for my understanding, were how the gang saw themselves as being part of the community and what undermined the gang. I have heard before, and in great disbelief, that the hangers out help the community. From Venkatesh's study I see where that assertion comes from, in that the community leaders at Robert Taylor were able to get funds and co-operation for programs from gang leaders. There is some irony in a program to get kids off the street and away from gangs, partially funded by a gang. Towards the end, when the author was winding up his studies, two things were occurring, the Robert Taylor Homes were slated for demolition and a federal crackdown on drug trafficking. Together those two things removed the customers, the taxable underground economy, and valuable experienced staff (dealers, enforcers, etc).
In the case of Shaw, gentrification probably helps break up some networks, by reducing the number of underground consumers in the area and reducing the amount of influence certain groups have. I'm going on 7 years here in the hood (good lord I'm getting old), and I have seen the drug activity around here decrease, since my arrival. I'll credit aspects of gentrification to that decrease, in that several vacant buildings that hid or facilitated illegal trade, are now filled and cannot be used for that sort of thing. New residents tend to support with their numbers the kind of leadership, political pushes and social reforms that weaken the drug dealing structure, adding to old timers who may have been too few in number to get any traction.
Labels: crime, gentrification
According to Channel 7
two employees of the Kennedy Rec Center were scared out of their wits at gunpoint by a gang of police at gunpoint in unmarked cars. I can totally believe that some cops were laughing, because of an incident I witnessed sometime ago at Union Station. Dudes, if you're going to be insensitive jackasses, please go back to your car and be a stupid jerk there.
This story undermines trust. MPD (or whatever para-police force running round being stupid) needs to do some explaining.
Corruption ain't cute, even with a Hermes Scarf
I remember a couple conversations with some relocated New Orleans citizens who seemed to take a light hearted attitude regarding the corruption in their city/state. This was before the student activity fund and the tax office embezzlement news, and I state then as I say now, corruption will destroy the republic, so it ain't cute.
For one, I already pay enough in taxes, why on earth would I agree to higher taxes when I believe it is not only supporting schools, housing, roads, and someone's lunchtime shopping spree? There are many, many things that the government does that requires tax money but until there is a mass purging of the system I won't trust it. Calls for more funding will ring hallow until the city cleans house.
I'm not calling on Fenty to do the cleaning, I'm calling on all agency heads, make it part of making city services more open and accessible to the people. Unfortunately it is part of the city culture to obscure itself in cries of low staffing, outdated systems that make clarity impossible, and general incompetence.
Labels: crime, government
I expect to hear what happened
There's a d#mned helicopter thats been going around and around and around for the past 10 minutes like crazy, with no signs of letting up. What the heck happened?
Mugging 'round Mt Vernon Sq
This morning I got this email from a guy:
Last night I was mugged at the corner of 10th and M--literally within sight of my apartment at Mt. Vernon Plaza across the street. A young male jumped me, grabbed me by the throat and tried to choke me, pushed something hard into my stomach, and demanded my cash. Out of shock (or stupidity), I said no, kicked him in the shin and jumped into the street. In the process, the guy tried to steal my ipod but got away only with my new (and fab-o) earbuds.
I was making all the wrong moves before it happened--listing to loud music on my ipod, not paying attention, and doing my little ipod walk/dance thing. Keep your eyes open ladies and gentlemen. And why would it be so difficult for this city to light its streets? The corner of 10th and M is a busy street yet it's pitch dark there after the sun goes down.
One thing, though, that the city did do right was the police response. After dialing 911, it took the police about 45 seconds to arrive. Two squad cars scoured the alleys and streets to no avail. A fantastic female cop and her partner even drove me around looking for the jerk that jumped me.
I've lived in the city now for more than ten years and have been a part of this neighborhood for six of them. Word from the (now) streetwise, your blog readers should their eyes peeled and their legs taking you down lit streets after dark.
Even when it is not dark be aware of your surroundings. M Street has been having some problems with choking/muggings as been reported on the Mt. Vernon Sq listserv. In broad daylight I've been hyper-aware of my surroundings when walking down M lately, accounting for every single person on the street. But this has been east of 7th.
Shooting at 1st & O NW
So much other stuff to write about, more positive stuff, but anyway.... Saturday (I think maybe the 20th, unless the message was about an earlier incident)'round 3AM there was shooting on the unit block of O st. Someone attempted (not clear) to break into SOME. No one was hit, but a car was damaged.CORRECTION:
It seems it may have been a man with a gun trying to protect his car. Whether the gun is legal is one question and there is no link to SOME.
Construction and Renovation Safety pt2
Picking up from Part 1
we've had some problems, not a lot, but some in the area where there have been some construction related crimes. Not too long ago someone reported a break in on the TC discussion board at a house under construction.
Well here's my experience and what I've heard from others. Tell your contractor to protect his stuff
Before construction started on the house I told David, the contractor, that there had been some incidences of tools being stolen in the area from job sites. So David got these huge metal box lockers with big fat nasty looking chains that sat in the middle of the house for most of the renovation. The only thing that I know of that got stolen was a saw from another job they were doing on the block.Be aware what permits do
A friend over in Bloomingdale who was having a major renovation in his basement and some minor-ish work in the main house woke to the sound of someone trying to beat down his door. It seems those permits you have to keep up attract some criminals. You can't take them down so you just have to be aware that they advertise that the house is under construction.Just because its heavy doesn't mean it won't get stolen
I'd been offered a replacement part for a broiler, but when the person offering went to retrieve said item it was gone. Nathan & BL had a nice fat radiator sitting on their back porch for the longest, but one day, it up and grew legs. Those radiator things are heavy, get 2-4 guys to lift it heavy. I've also been told of air conditioner whateverthingies (big heavy things that go on the roof) that was placed there by a crane, being stolen.
and lastly....Beware of ladders
This endangers the safety of your house when it is not under construction. Tall ladders left around by construction guys and not locked or chained up can be used to break into other peoples houses. This will make you unpopular.
Labels: crime, radiators
Construction and Renovation Safety pt 1
Below is a citizen reporting an incident that appeared on the 5D Listserv Oct 2nd via the Brookland Listserv. There are some issues that I'll address in another posting, but there are practical bits of advice that seem to go against what we are told about giving people the benefit of the doubt, not relying on stereotypes, yadda, yadda, yadda. Read it, tell me what you think. Also be safe out there:
Today at 4:50pm the construction workers renovating the owned but unoccupied house opposite mine were robbed at gunpoint (15th/jackson) .
I saw the crimnals 1 minute before the actual robbery took place, as I was pulling away from the curb they were walking up the front steps. Fortunately, no one was physically harmed as all three had guns; unfortunately, I did not get a good look to give a better description: 3 young adult males approx 17-early 20s, medium black complexion, average height, lanky build, one in a gray sweatshirt and jeans, the other two dressed in black sweatshirts/ black pants.
What I learned from those robbed -- one guy came by earlier and walked in the open door as they were working. When questioned why he was there he said he was looking to buy a house. They told him that it was owned and was not selling. They regret not calling the police at this first round because the age, dress, and line and method of inquiry (walking in and looking around, no standard questions in line with home buying) of the person clearly demonstrated 'kid' more than 'potential home owner,' and thus after the fact realize this was the stakeout for the later return in the day, when his friends were available to assist.
What I learned FROM THE POLICE -- 1.) construction workers are an easy target for robberies of their property (tools, $) and your household property, because since they don't know every one of your relatives, friends and neighbors, they allow themselves to be approached by strangers visiting. [SNIPPED by InShaw] 3.) the pre-visit is a common robbery set up pattern, on a type of people commonly marked - contrators.
So my take away from this experience is this:
1. If someone shows up on your property that doesn't quite 'fit the bill,' better to be suspect and guarded, as you are only protecting yourself and your property. If the person is innocent, well the questioning by the cops ultimately does him/her a service to wake up and realize that in today's time you just don't walk up on someone's property and into an open door uninvited. They should know they were lucky to encounter you, a nice person who only called the cops to check them out -- another person may not be so nice and may try to physically protect their property...
2. If you are not in your property yet, make it a point to visit often, even if it is an inconvenience since you have so many other things to do ... Meet your neighbors now, not the week you move in. Let them know point blank that they are free to question anyone on your property. The neighboring young new couple had expensive things stolen from their house (whole central air/heating system) because they were
never ever there in a one years time of construction. ..
3. Same for your contractors -- let them know that a) you demand they work behind locked door, no matter how much of an inefficent hassle it is; b) no friendliness to strangers you have not specficially pointed out to them are on the ok to fraternize with list, not even the elderly woman in the floral apron with a plate of home-baked cookies who claims to be your mother, and c) they must call the cops immediately.
Labels: crime, development