Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Property crime is up, but...

Last week, the blogosphere and Twitterverse were all aflutter over the report that came out showing a disturbing rise in property crime in the District. And to be sure, things like a 65% increase in thefts, or the fact that burglaries are up 300% in Dupont Circle, are worthy areas of concern.

But my point here isn't to address the city's response to crime. Well, not from a policing or policy perspective, at least (although it's a worthy discussion why Cathy Lanier seems to have determined that 3,800 police officers is the magic number for the District). Rather, I wanted to mention to something more insignificant, but which I've been noticing more of recently. Namely, this:

I passed this scene the other morning on a Logan Circle residential block--a truly unfortunate and all-too-common sight. However, the car you see in the background was not the one whose window was smashed; I had walked down the same block the week before and noticed the glass then. The shattered glass came from a different car, long since gone. Meaning that there is now a pile of shattered glass that is sitting there--and will continue sitting there for weeks, or until a heavy rain starts to wash it away. Meanwhile, cars are forced to drive over the glass when parking, and people and pets must step on or around it while walking along the sidewalk.

So, I'm issuing a plea to people who are the unfortunate victims of property crime to their cars: do everyone a favor, and clean-up the mess before you leave. And if you're a property owner and you notice something like this in front of your home, take a minute or two to sweep it up. After all, no one else will. Mrs. 14thandyou and I have each been on the receiving end of a smashed car window (enjoying that crappy, $10 cellphone headset, losers?), so we know that it sucks. But it also sucks having to dodge piles of shattered auto glass for weeks.


Anonymous said...

I have noticed this trend as well. All over U St. and Logan. Adding insult to injury, now the victims have to clean it up too? And, we only get 7 minutes for a quarter now? Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Could you also write a post about all the dog poop in the neighborhood. I agree the broken car glass is annoying but seriously, how hard is it to pick up after your dog!

I walk my dog everyday around 12th, 13th and 14th streets and honestly, it is getting out of control. The worst part is that I know who does not pick up. I have seen their dog pooping in front of me and they just don't care!

I don't know what I should do or say when I see this. I am almost resorting to buying on of those big scooper things and going up and down at least part of my street and picking up after others. *shrug*

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous in regard to the dog poop. Generally, the dog owners that aren't picking up their dog's poop are the ones that are talking on their cell phones while their dog poops. They can't hold a leash, hold a phone and pick up poop at the same time, so they walk away.
Without question, if you witness a dog owner walking away from poop, confront them. "Are you REALLY going to just walk away and leave your dogs poop there?" "Seriously?!?" The mere embarrasement of being "caught" generally will cause them to think twice about it next time. If other people are around for the confrontation, even better.
This advise from a responsible dog owner.

Valerie said...

Wow, you really expect people who are running out the door at 5am to make it to work, who get to their cars to find their window or windshield smashed, to really be concerned about poor you, downtrodden and forced to step around some glass? Or how about the couple who are running out to the car in the middle of the night to go to the emergency room, who then find that hundreds of dollars worth of items have been stolen from the car? Do you really think they are going to say, "Oh, wow, the pain I am experiencing right now is nothing compared to the inconvenience people will later experience when they have to walk on the other side of the sidewalk." The color of the glass, along with the fact that it is generally only found in the street next to the curb or on the grass strip, should make it fairly simple for you to steer yourself and your dog around the rubble.

So, I'm issuing a plea to people like yourself--please stop complaining about that 2 second inconvenience of walking on the other side of the sidewalk, and talk about something useful and interesting, perhaps, for example, ways to prevent these sorts of crimes from happening in the first place.

Mr. Other Upper NW said...

Valerie: no one's asking anyone to sweep up glass at 5 AM while they're "rushing" to work. But allowing the glass to remain there for weeks on end isn't just unsightly, it's dangerous. Who do you think cleans that up? And why do you think it's acceptable that no one does?

We've had our cars broken into several times, and not once have we left shattered glass all over the street for cars, humans and pets to have to deal with. Doesn't seem at all unreasonable to ask others to do the same.

As far as "ways to prevent this type of crime from happening," feel free to proffer suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Valerie, you need to up your meds.

convexhull said...

The criminal element who break into cars should be the ones responsible for cleaning up the glass. You make the mess, you clean it up.d