Car break-ins and theft are typical of big city life, but a recent spat of crime has some Hill East neighbors on guard. In recent weeks, neighbors on the Hill East listserv have reported several incidents of car burglary and theft.
The reports hit close to home for this THIH writer and Hill East resident, having experienced two car break-ins in the last two months.
And, Metropolitan Police say that they may know who’s behind the incidents. In a post on the listserv, Lt. Christopher Micciche with the MPD 1st District said:
There is a subject, well known to the police, who will smash the vehicle window to break into a car for purposes of theft. After doing so, he will frequently break three or four windows in a row and check those cars. We believe he does this because he figures the sound of breaking glass may bring the police, so he may as well hit as many cars as possible to maximize his chances of a good take.
We lock him up regularly, and regularly he is ultimately released. I believe he is currently held after his most recent apprehension. Hopefully it stays that way!
MPD stresses some basic tips to anyone who parks their car on the street.
One of the latest reported break-ins seems to match police descriptions. On Wednesday, a resident posted this story to the Hill East listserv:
Cars belonging to [me] and my neighbor were broken into sometime between Tuesday night and [Wednesday]. They were parked in their usual parking spaces behind our house in the alley that runs behind Jenkins Row. On both cars, the driver’s side rear “vent” window was smashed. I had a club locked onto the steering wheel of my car, no valuables were left inside, and nothing was taken, though the inside was ransacked – change was left in the ashtray (though the ashtray was opened) and a roadside emergency kit hidden under a seat was opened but not stolen.
My neighbor has yet to search her car for missing valuables. An officer came out very quickly (thank you Officer Chesley) and told me that this has been happening to several cars in the area and that most of the time change is taken. I’m not sure what preventative measures can be taken, other than better lighting and keeping valuables out of sight or out of the car altogether, but I wanted to let everyone know that this appears to be a recent trend.
Consider this a friendly reminder to keep your vehicle secure and store any valuable items out-of-sight when you park your car.