Monday, November 2, 2009

Hey, You Kids...!

So, Mrs. 14thandyou had been home this evening for approximately ten minutes when she was greeted by the sound of our door buzzer. Outside were two of DC's finest, there to inform her that her car had just been broken into. She stepped outside to see that what once had been her window now lay in a thousand pieces on the sidewalk and inside the car.

Seems the two suspects (16-24 yo b/m) were interrupted by a vigilant neighbor who saw what they did, chased them for a block, then called the MPD. (Thank you, kind-hearted neighbor who we don't know.)

One of the positives that came from an otherwise angering experience was Mrs. 14thandyou's interaction with MPD Officer Kimberly Selby and her partner, who could not have been more helpful and pleasant. It seems our two suspects are a known commodity in the area, Officer Selby has been tracking them for some time.

Perhaps most perplexing out of this entire ordeal was what on earth the dynamic duo saw in Mrs. 14thandyou's 13 year old vehicle that made it an enticing option for a window smashing. Could it have been the ice-scraper? (It *was* one of those nicer ice-scrapers that has the long reach and the brush on the other side...) Perhaps it was the nearly empty jug of windshield wiper fluid sitting on the floor of the backseat? (Is there a black market for that stuff?) Or maybe it was the assortment of mid-atlantic and northeast corridor roadmaps tucked into the passenger-side door? (Maybe they were planning on making a getaway to "New Hampshire/Vermont/Maine, with blow-up maps of Portland, Manchester and Burlington"?)

So we know two things about the MO of these wayward youth: they like to smash car windows, and they have really, really awful taste.

26 comments:

Liz said...

Maybe it was the same guys who broke into my 12 year old Corolla last year. Nothing was visible except for an old garage door opener and some maps. All they took was the opener, my insurance and registration cards, and a bag of VERY VERY old candy.

What was the point?

Ashley said...

Officer Selby really is one of DC's finest. She is an outstanding officer- I'm glad you had someone so capable there to help you out!

Herb of DC said...

Ugh. Sorry...what a pain...

jerry said...

Sorry this has been happening alot in the 14th& U area. Maybe the U street business association and Restaurant owners should hire extra security to walk the streets during peak break in hours.

Leroy said...

Liz - Careful of people taking registration / insurance cards. They can be used to steal your identity.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a GPS at all? If you have that ring the suction cup leaves on your windshield, I've heard of thieves breaking in just on the chance a GPS is in the glove box.

Max said...

Sorry to her that. My wife and I are moving from CH into the area (9 & T) in about a month. We have a car and I am wondering if you have any tips on which blocks not to park and how the area in general in terms of cars being broke in.

Anonymous said...

Are there peak break-in hours? I chose to leave my car doors unlocked after my gym bag was taken at 7:30am on a Thursday.

Anonymous said...

I had my car broken into b/c I had a suction cup on the windshield at 16 and 0. Came to my car only to see a nice brick sitting on my passenger side window. Since then, I have seen at least 3 other cars which have had the same thing happen to them. I don't know what happened in your case since you seemed not to have any indicators of valued items out.

Anonymous said...

i feel your pain. my car's been broken into twice over the past few years (on rhode island off of logan circle, same place both times). first time, they broke my window and stole my *tape player* and a few random mixed tapes that friends had made me in hs (maybe the thiefs were big fans of the indigo girls??). second time, they jimmied the lock and stole the 15 cents that i had left by the steering wheel. 15 cents. there's no rhyme or reason. just try not to leave anything stuff visible and hope for the best!

13th and You said...

Thefts from auto are a persistent nagging problem in our neighborhood. I have been victimized three times since 2001 and I constantly see the tell tale piles of auto glass on the sidewalk. It's important that we all be vigilant and call in any suspicious behavior. Kudos to your neighbor who called this one in. I just hope the police can severely punish the perpetrators.

Anonymous said...

I'm for neighborhood patrols

14th & You said...

I spoke to three police officers last night about my smashed window. All asked me what I had in my car to prompt the window smashing. I didn't so much as have loose change. There weren't even empty bags or boxes. Nor have I ever even owned a GPS.

I do have a theory on what might have happened though. When I stopped my car, I was wearing a hands-free headset for my cell phone -- a really crappy one at that. After parking, I took it off, wound the wires, and stuck it in the center console. In the amount of time it took me to lock the car, go inside, and change clothing, the police had already responded to the break in. Because of the slim time window, I'm thinking someone saw me stick wires in my center console and thought it was a gizmo far more exciting than a $20 headset.

Anonymous said...

We had our rear windshield broken during the night a few months ago on N and 13th. They didn't go into the car (you wouldn't break the rear window to get something out of the car, would you?). It may just be kids that like to break windows, not that it makes it any better.

Euginia said...

I had my car window smashed in front of the Hilton hotel at 15th and N. I have definitly seen it happen to people on that block as well. I avoid parking on that street like the plague!

Anonymous said...

I live on 10th & M and we had this problem in the area for well over a year until they finally caught the person. They caught him literally hanging out of a car! He was responsible for over 400 break-ins in the area and only got 60 days in jail for it! The cases in our neighborhood were similar. Window smashed and he'd steal cat liter or something completely insignficant.

scott said...

I was out a little late one evening and stopped for some comfort food at Yum's on 14th & P and witnessed a older man with his hands wrapped in paper towels soaked in blood. He was trying to sell a GPS device to people waiting for their food at Yum's. Somebody of course gave him $20 for it. I made a comment to that man who purchased it and told him that he just rewarded that behavior and another car in the area will now get broken into and he basically told me where to go. Go figure!

Anonymous said...

My 2001 jetta had the back triangle window broken out a few months ago. nothing in the car was visible, because there was nothing in the car to take. i think it's just vandalism. losers.

Anonymous said...

I've started leaving my glove compartment open whenever I park on the street. I think they're mainly looking for GPS devices, and the open glove compartment is a signal there's nothing there...can't say for sure if it's worked, but my car hasn't been broken into since I started doing this.

Anonymous said...

Open the glove box.

Wipe off any GPS rings and remove and adapted cup holders used for mounting them.

Keep a small shoe-box/rubber maid style container in the car that can slide under the drivers seat (keep you knickknacks, insurance/registration in there --even better, find a clever hiding space for those documents, they can be used and are sought for identity theft.)

trash is a good deterrent -- if you look like a sloppy person, they'll keep walking. Leave a clean crumpled McDonalds cup and wadded up bag in the backseat. When you've got other riders, just stow it under the passenger seat. Looks ugly, but that's the point, and can be hidden.

Anonymous said...

Hey, hope you're still reading the comments on this post.

Congress Heights on the Rise just posted "How to Avoid Becoming a Carjacking Victim"

sort of related..

Anonymous said...

link --
http://www.congressheightsontherise.com/2009/11/how-to-avoid-becoming-carjacking-victim.html

Anonymous said...

to be expected. the criminals could care less what we think and there really is no punishment.

Mr. 14th & You said...

Yep, we're still reading these. Lots of good information has been posted here. However, it still seems like Mrs. 14thandyou's car was essentially a random hit. No GPS system, nothing left out to indicate anything of value was in the car (b/c nothing of value WAS in the car), no pricey stereo system...we're chalking it up to "cost of living" and moving on, although it would be nice if the police were able to catch these thugs.

Fonzy said...

I hope you didn't make a claim for theft or vandalism, which being a 14 y.o. car, I assume you wouldn't be covered. Never, never, never tell your insurance company about a vandalism, especially for a broken window. The items in your car (which are not part of the car) are covered by your home insurance, btw.

Mr. 14th & You said...

LOL, no we most certainly didn't breath a word of this to the insurance co.