Monday, August 4, 2003

FW: Burglary Spree Update #2

Please write me if you don't want to receive such emails.

My experience of the past 2 weeks confirms 2 things we already knew: the DC Police can be fantastic and developing communication lines between police and citizens is invaluable. The police response to the mini-crime spree has been excellent and the coordinated communication of the leads to and from the police helped get one man arrested and 3 under surveillance. This shows that we can make a difference in our community. This also means that to get great results from the police the citizens need to work at it being involved.

Officers Ackerman, Wilcox, Flynn, and Forbes, Detectives Thompson and Greene, Lieutenant Hill and Commander McCoy were noticeably critical to this success story. There were probably many people operating behind the scenes that made the success possible. The 911/311 system even operated well. The 3rd District did their roll call on my block one day to familiarize all the officers on duty with the situation.

One man was a arrested for stealing things out of a garage. We suspect he also broke into the cars in the Riggs Place alley since he was convicted of and did jail time for breaking into a car in the same alley last year. He was released pending trial. He was subsequently arrested for violating a "Stay Away" order and will not likely be released again.

The 3 men who were breaking down doors and burglarizing houses during the day have been identified. They have been tied to over 20 similar break ins - 18 on Capital Hill, several in Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights. The detectives are still working on getting an arrest warrant.

Responses to my emails were coming in from people who had seen them posted on numerous listservs and who had had them forwarded several times. If anyone would like to be on some of several lists, please contact me. There is the Joint Dupont Public Safety Committee List, the Dupont ANC list, the DCCA Alert list and my ANC district constituent list.

We could emulate the email list that we used in my surrounding blocks in all of the police district and we'd be a lot safer. This could operate through block captains of a Neighborhood Watch. One neighbor can communicate with other neighbors on what's going on such as an increase in car break ins or doors getting broken down so that people can be on the look out. We'd hope that person would develop a relationship with the police on that beat. I got dozens of descriptions of potential burglars, correlating stories, and status reports. If someone filters through the noise and responsibly communicates good info to the police and their neighbors problems get solved.

We'll be working on setting up a Neighborhood Watch system in the Joint Dupont Public Safety meetings on the 3rd Tuesday of every month, that is, this August 19th at 7pm at the 3rd District Police headquarters at 1620 V Street.

Rob Halligan

1711 Riggs Place

319 1313

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