01 Nov 2010


Burglaries on The Hill

Image uploaded to flickr by lovelypetal.

Last Friday,  I returned home from work to find out that my house had been burglarized. The basement door had been kicked in, most of the drawers and closets were opened and ransacked, and both my laptops (along with some cash) were gone.

I’m not the only THIH blogger with a recent home invasion experience. Two weeks ago, Tory Patrick’s home was hit. At about 11:15 in the morning, two teenagers tried to break into her house by pushing in her window air conditioning unit. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the thieves could have been dangerous), Tory was home and the teens ran off.

When the police arrived to my house, they informed me that there’s been a surge in robberies over the past few weeks on Capitol Hill.  The crime stats back this up — and the numbers are shocking. Over the past 30 days, there have been 14 burglaries in Police Service Area 107 (which covers much of Capitol Hill South and the Stadium Armory neighborhood, and all of New Hill East) — a 180% increase from the same period last year.

According to the police officer working my case, most of these burglaries are happening during the day, while people are at work. So be vigilant — if you notice someone you’ve never seen in your neighborhood, introduce yourself or just call the police. And if you have an alarm (I didn’t — but now do), be sure to turn on it on before leaving for work!


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  • Adopt_a_friend

    Another reason to adopt a loving doggie from the shelter. Doggie get angry when door get kicked in. Doggie bark and snarl. Man/woman/transgendered thief run away. Good doggie.

  • Mike

    I watched yesterday as 2 guys stole two bikes at 9:30a on a Sunday morning at the corner of 9th and C. Since I had my 6 month old son strapped to my chest, the only weapon I could wield was my cell phone. I called the police but I doubt they ever catch the a—holes. I spoke to a woman that came out during the commotion and she mentioned she had two bikes stolen the previous week.
    I have one solution. How about DCPD get OUT of their patrol cars and walk an old-fashioned beat? Okay, if you’re too out of shape to walk, I’m open to you using a Segway. It’s crazy sounding I know, but it can be an effective way to deter crime, build community support and glean valuable information. And best of all – It’s GREEN!

  • Speaking of good doggies…Metro Mutts is hosting an adoption event on November 13th from 12-2 PM with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue!

  • Jon

    @Mike…believe it or not I see regular patrols of police on bicycles in my neighborhood (the area between Lincoln Park and RFK). Where we used to live on 7th and C NE there was one officer I would see walking daily. Not sure if he was walked a beat or walking to 7-11, but he was at least walking.

    I agree more should be out of their cars though. Being a visible presence is important and helps them connect with the people in the neighborhoods.

  • jps

    Are these robberies believed to be perpetrated by burglars who live in our neighborhood? Or are they targeting the area from somewhere else? Have there been any arrests?

  • I am so sorry to hear this happened to you. It happened to me several years ago, so I know how dreadful it is to come home to a ransacked house. We had bars on the doors and windows but the burglars bent them to get in– I think an active alarm system is the way to go.

  • Jennifer Zatkowski

    There is a meeting tomorrow night to address this uptick in crime. Captain Mike Gottert is holding this meeting at Substation 1D1, 500 E Street SE at 7:30pm.

  • Mike

    @Jon…That’s good to hear. I am truly glad they may be doing that in some areas. In the 4 years I have lived near 10th and C NE, however, the only time I have ever seen a police officer out of their car was when they were taking a police report from me (3 times) after my car was broken into or at the 7/11 you refer to on 8th. Hopefully they will continue to do those patrols you saw and expand them. When my father was Deputy Chief of Police in a Georgia urban county, they achieved dramatic results when they got out of the car and started “community policing”. That being said, it’s also our responsibility as citizens to get out and become involved as well.

  • Bill

    two words: Second Amendment

  • Andy

    The 2nd Amendment works wonders when…..you’re not home!!!

  • Todd

    “if you notice someone you’ve never seen in your neighborhood, introduce yourself or just call the police..”

    I would go with the latter, these people clearly aren’t from these neighborhoods and don’t want to meet you.

    Upon walking home from Union Station the other night, I walked by two kids wearing MASKS, they simply walked by me, staring me down, and hurling explicatives I couldn’t understand…

    May be time to go back to NOVA, this stuff gets old quick. Trash is trash.

  • Annandale VA

    Todd, I’m currently living in NOVA (to save money while I look for a place to buy on the Hill), and we have no shortage of trash out here. If currently trends are correct, the thugs are moving out to Fairfax and Arlington Counties while the white elite are either fleeing to the exurbs or moving into the city. You’re probably best staying where you are.

  • Jon

    Last night driving home from the ANC Meet & Greet I passed two cops on bikes on Penn Ave. We shall see if any of the initiatives the police announced last night on the news have any impact. I agree with the point about being vigilant though; I call the police whenever I see something or someone that doesn’t look quite right.

  • Lee

    We are fortunate to have an active business (Fry) and multiple neighbors who work from home in our area. However, neither of these facts stopped me from installing ADT and giving my pups doggy door access to strangers coming into my backyard. I am curious about those police cams at various intersections…does anyone know if they are ACTIVELY monitored by the police?

  • Mel V.

    I was on board with most of the comments until I read Annandale’s post….seriously… “White Elite”. Please stay in VA, we don’t need “your kind” (using language that you will understand) in the District.

  • Annandale

    Please, Mel, don’t discriminate against people who live in the suburbs. The ONLY reason I’m out here is to save enough for a downpayment in the city (I’m currently rent free). Try to understand that some people make sacrifices because they love this city and want to live here so badly. I’m willing to deal with bland surburia for a few years if it means I can settle in DC for the long run.

    Per my comment, I was only trying to defend the comment made against Capitol Hill by saying the notion you won’t get your house broken into in NOVA is pure nonsense. The area is quickly going downhill (look at all the gang activity we have out here) while in DC most neighborhoods are on the rise. The comment about “your kind” not being welcome in Capitol Hill is inappropriate given how diverse a community it is.

  • Annandale

    Also, it’s not like I’ve never lived in the city before. I always swore I’d never live in VA but couldn’t turn down my current rental opportunity.

    I was a victim of crime when I lived at the SW Waterfront (pre-revitalization), but still consider the neighborhood back then to be better than where I live near now– my neighbors in SW were so much friendlier. If I could be in the same rental situation there that I’m in now, I’d move back in a heartbeat.

  • MKDC

    Isn’t ironic that I sent this post to some friends who just moved to the Hill East to warn them about these burglaries and then 5 days later my bikes get stolen from inside my building…

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