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
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 F/ Auto
|Normal Day Average
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.
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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
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?
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 F/ Auto
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
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 email@example.com 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.
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.