Category Archives: Crime

Camera Helps Nab Bike Thief

Over the past couple months, Georgetown has been the victim of a bike theft crime wave. Garages in particular have been a frequent target, as thieves break in (or just walk in if the door’s open) and wheel off with his loot.

Well MPD is confident that the perpetrator of many, if not all, of these crimes is now behind bars. And the sometimes controversial street cameras played a key in the collar.

GM learned via the excellent CAG Public Safety program the following: apparently safety cameras operated by MPD captured the image of a man walking down the sidewalk pushing two bikes. Thinking this was suspicious given the recent thefts, MPD captured a still of the individual and printed it out. The photo was circulated around and a parole officer recognized the individual as one of her charges. An arrest warrant was duly issued. Continue reading



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Halloween and Crime

Last year, back when pre-parenthood GM had significantly more free time, he wrote a long piece on the relationship between street crime in Georgetown and Halloween.

The upshot of the piece was that crime in Georgetown appears to double on Halloween vs. an average day, regardless of whether Halloween is a weekend or not. Here are the averages from 2006-2010:

Theft ADW Robbery Burglary Theft F/ Auto Sex Abuse Total
Normal Day Average 1.57 0.07 0.14 0.14 0.48 0.01 2.65
Halloween Average 2.2 0.4 0.80 0.40 0.40 0.00 4.2

Crime has historically jumped a bunch on Halloween. There are about twice as many total crimes, six times as many robberies and more than three times as many burglaries.

Out of curiosity, GM compared last year’s crime totals to the Halloween averages.

Theft ADW Robbery Burglary Theft F/ Auto Sex Abuse Total
2011 4 0 2 0 0 0 6

Crime was up last Halloween. But there were no burglaries, car break-ins, sexual assaults or assaults with a deadly weapon. At least according to the crime stats. But here’s the thing. Last year even worse in Georgetown than these numbers reveal. A fight between some visitors resulted in a deadly shooting right at M and 28th. For conspiracy minded people thinking the crime stats are cooked, the shooting did eventually show up in the crime data, but not until November 7th, when the victim died. Continue reading

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Peek a Boo!

A tipster passed along this photo to GM recently. It’s of a MPD crime camera hidden away behind the parapet of the Car Barn on Canal Rd. From the street, it just looks like a normal security camera, and you’d probably be excused in thinking it was a GU camera, seeing as they occupy the building.

This camera has been hiding away up there for at least several years. It’s one of at least two MPD cameras in Georgetown. The other is a bit more obvious, next to the Phoenix store on Wisconsin:

Anyone know if there are any other MPD cameras in Georgetown?


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Crime Up First Half of 2011

Photo by Alan_Cleaver2000.

Now the the first half of 2011 is safely in the books, GM took a look back at the crime stats to see how we’re doing. Not so great is the answer.

There were 459 crime incidents in Georgetown and Burleith during the first half of 2011. That compares with 407 during the first half of 2010, which means crime was up 13%.

But the story gets more interesting when you look at the individual categories. In most crime was level and even down. But in one category spiked dramatically:

  • Theft
  • 2010 – 269
  • 2011 – 246
  • Robbery
    • 2010 – 27
    • 2011 – 18
  • Burglary
    • 2010 – 29
    • 2011 – 66
  • Theft F/ Auto
    • 2010 – 66
    • 2011 – 70
  • ADW
    • 2010 – 13
    • 2011 – 11
  • Sexual Abuse
    • 2010 – 2
    • 2011 – 4
  • Stolen Auto

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    By The Way, You Could Open a Gun Shop in Georgetown

    A while back, GM wrote about the possibility of gun shops opening up in Georgetown. At the time (i.e. early 2009) the Zoning Commission was trying to develop rules to comply with the fallout of the Heller decision, which forced the District to liberalize its gun laws.

    The idea floated was that no store could be closer than 300 feet from residential areas, schools, libraries, churches and playgrounds. Well GM lost track of the rules until it was brought up recently by Mike DeBonis at the Post. Continue reading


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    Find Your Block Captain

    Through its Public Safety program, CAG organizes the efforts of volunteers willing to serve as Block Captains. The individuals take it upon themselves to act as micro information bureaus for a block, or two (or three). In some cases they form email chains or even organize periodic meetings in discuss public safety issues.

    They try to keep an eye out for everyone on the block, but you can benefit even more by reaching out to them and letting them know how to contact you. Here is the most recent list of Block Captains, and how to reach them (if it’s too small to read, you can just view the document here):

    GM received a request to take down the list since it has personal email addresses on it. GM assumed since they were published on the CAG website that the captains were ok with it. If you want to know who your block captain is, email GM at and he’ll let you know. Alternatively, they are listed in the most recent CAG newsletter.

    As you can see, there are a bunch of blocks without volunteers. If one of those blocks is your own, maybe you’d be willing to step forward. If so, contact the CAG office at 337-7313 to let them know you’re interested.


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    Poor MPD Response Cited in Recent Break In

    GM got a tip yesterday from a Georgetown resident. He reported to GM that the apartment building he lives in near 30th and P was subject to repeated intrusions recently by a suspicious individual. Specifically, severally nights ago a man was harassing women outside the building. A resident broke up the incident and no police were called.

    However, last night the same individual gained entry into the locked building and was walking the hallways loudly banging on the doors. Soon thereafter it was discovered that the mail from the mail boxes was tampered with and destroyed.

    A call was placed to MPD. But it took the police 40 minutes to respond. The officers were rude and dismissive of the complaints and claimed that no crime had taken place. They doubted the severity of the harassment and told the residents that maybe next time they should just call the post office. They grudgingly searched the premises and then left without taking any statements from the residents. All in all, a rather poor response in GM’s opinion.

    The one bright note: residents contacted the CAG safety patrol officer (via their block captain), who came immediately to the location and stayed there until the police arrived.

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    Looks Like Somebody Didn’t Get Their New Year’s Smooch

    From MPD2d:

    On Friday, December 31, 2010, at 11:50 p.m. a Simple Assault/Domestic Violence offense occurred in the 3200 block of M St., N.W. (PSA 206) and was subsequently reported to the MPD.

    The victim reported that he and his girlfriend were having a verbal dispute. The dispute turned physical when his girlfriend began to punch, knee and kick him. The victim sustained defensive injuries to his left hand and bruises to his neck. The MPD was summoned and arrested the suspect. This is a closed case.

    And with that, crime in Georgetown closed out its 2010 numbers. And what did they look like? Sort of a mixed bag really.

    • Total crimes: 880 (down 4.76%)*
    • Categories up in 2010:
      • Stolen Autos up 10.53%
      • Robberies up 26.83%(!)
      • ADW up 48%(!!)
      • Sexual Assault up 200%(!!!)
    • Categories down in 2010:
      • Thefts down .18% (there was only one less theft in 2010)
      • Burglary down 12.2%
      • Car Break-ins down 36.67%

    In fairness, some of these percentages are getting skewed by how low the numbers are.  But they are troubling nonetheless. GM will dig in a little more to the numbers over the next week or so, so stay tuned!

    *Interestingly, at the ANC meeting Luitenant Hedgecock stated that crime in Georgetown (i.e. PSA 206) was down 6%, so either he’s got different stats than GM or someone’s math is wrong.

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    Where Crime Happens in Georgetown

    The District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute released an fascinating map yesterday that details crime levels for each census block in the city. Above is a detail of the map showing Georgetown. The darker areas correlate to the higher crime areas.

    Unsurprisingly, crime in Georgetown occurs most along the commercial corridors. One thing that immediately jumps out is that the campus of Georgetown University has the highest crime rating. But once you dig into it a little it makes sense. The black areas are blocks with 25 crimes or more per year. Since Georgetown University is once big census block, 25 crimes spread out over a large campus of several thousand for a whole year doesn’t sound so bad.

    Here’s what Georgetown looks like compared to the rest of the city:

    Continue reading


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    Halloween, Crime, and Georgetown


    Photo by VKKV.

    At the ANC meeting Monday night, Ed Solomon reported that Georgetown is experiencing a crime spike. GM’s crunched the numbers recently and concluded for himself that, yes, crime did tick up in the third quarter. But he was curious to know whether there’s a particular spike in crime in and around Halloween. So he went back and recrunched the numbers, this time he looked at crime on Halloween weekend (for the sake of clarity he chose the weekend before Halloween when it fell on a Mon-Wed, and the weekend after if it fell on a Thursday or Friday; in either case he looked at Fri-Sun for the numbers). Looking back to 2006, this is what he found out:

    Theft ADW Robbery Burglary Theft f Auto Sex Abuse Total
    2006 8 1 0 0 5 0 14
    2007 10 0 0 0 2 0 12
    2008 6 0 3 1 2 0 12
    2009 10 0 0 1 2 1 14
    2010 8 1 1 1 0 0 11
    Average 8.4 0.4 0.8 0.6 2.2 0.2 12.6

    Crime has been very consistent in Georgetown for Halloween weekend (dare GM call it eerie?) The total number of crimes barely budges year to year, and averages 12.6. Unsurprisingly thefts lead the way, averaging 8.4, while thefts from auto trail far behind second with an average of 2.2. Robberies have been spotty, but burglaries have been been steady over the past three years. Continue reading

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