Monday, June 23, 2008

Neighborhood Incident Report

A reader emailed me an account of a recent crime. To paraphrase her intent, she wants to remind people that we're living in a city and "stuff happens," but she's not trying to be an alarmist.

Last week on a weekday evening around 8p.m. (still daylight), a resident on the 1400 block of S St., NW experienced a home break-in. She and her boyfriend were home. Despite clear signs that the home was occupied -- lights on, music playing -- someone came in by slashing a front window screen and climbing in through a window that had been cracked open. The resident of the home was in the back of the house preparing dinner and never encountered the thief while he snatched a purse and two digital cameras. During this time, a neighbor was gardening in his/her front yard, and there was car traffic on the street.

The resident, though clearly upset about the theft, is thankful not to have lost anything more. She also reports that the police were very responsive, arriving in minutes, photographing the scene, and dusting for fingerprints. On a positive note for the rest of us, one of the MPD officers who responded to the scene stated that burglaries on this block had been very rare.

In an interesting twist, around 11:30 that night, a man rang the resident's doorbell to return her social security card, cell phone, and drivers license, which he said he had "found" around the corner. Of course, this gentleman wanted a reward for the good deed of returning her property. It's fairly suspect that the thief pulled just those items from the wallet and chucked or held onto everything else. The resident did gain a little bit of evidence by checking the call history on her cell phone, which included the phone number for an apartment building just around the corner from her home. Yes, this junior varsity thief was unwise enough not to bother to erase the call history.

As the resident stated, she highly recommends getting renter's insurance, something she had been meaning to do, but hadn't gotten around to. She also recommends using window tab locks, if you have them. If you are looking for renter's insurance, I recommend Erie. We pay less than $275 a year for $20k of coverage. For tips on securing windows and doors, try this HGTV webpage.


House History Man said...

I had a similar incident happen to me when I lived at 11th and S...the problem is that once they are in your house, they also remember what was left behind. I had a burglar return 12 times over the course of the following year...even when I was home.

loganmo said...

you are totes getting ripped off on your renter's insurance...unless your credit score is in the tank and you have prior claims in the past 5 years, that is way too much. We pay $160/year or so for $35,000 of coverage (through Travelers via Geico)