City Desk

Neighborhood News Roundup: All Caps Criminals Edition

A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.

Neighborhood News RoundupCrash Into (My Car Window): After a spate of car break-ins in LeDroit Park, dozens of messages hit the normally quiet email list. Now things are getting real. When one member writes, "I am now petrified to be out on the street alone," another responds, pooh-poohing the hysteria: "It sounds like these are non-violent crimes.  I live in the neighborhood too and come home late night, every night on metro.  I've had no suspicious feelings and I'm not quite sure of  what suspicious behavior is.  As far as someone looking in cars in broad daylight, 9/10x they are looking at how good thier hair and face looks.  My child used to do that until I mentioned that 'someone could call the police thinking that you are looking inside in hopes of nabbing thier trinkets'." They don't get much appreciation for their wisdom though, as one more member weighs in: "You obviously are not aware of the recent spat of burglaries by gun, or the home invasions....... A young lady was robbed of her night's wages not far from my house and in the home invasion 2 blocks away, both victims were severely beaten. Teens ( young men) sit in that circle and case the whole neighborhood. They are aware of our comings and goings and habits. Be alert!" Meanwhile, a regular poster gets a few digs in on the more freaked out  members of the list: "I appreciate all of your concerns. Interestingly enough I only hear from you when there are robberies, burglaries, etc. I know that I provide you with information about opportunities to meet with the police including and not limited to the chief and ways to PREVENT crime. I can assure you that we have the most effective, 20 plus year experienced Lt. In the district. If you attended meetings, made a phone call, or even stopped by my house or spoke to me on the street (my picture is on the LeDroit Park website) I would be happy to introduce you to any of the police if you do not feel comfortable introducing yourself. I see them all the time in the LeDroit[....]So I will continue to ask you to turn on your lights report anything that doesn't sit well with you. Looking into cars is suspicious. Hanging out on other peoples property is not typical either. If 911 doesn't respond keep calling them back. I think that it would be more effective to take this thread offline and into action."

Capitol Hill United Methodist Church, ISO: From the New Hill East List: "My wife and I volunteer in the kitchen at the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church. When we were there this past Sunday, we were told that they are in need of a new (to them) refrigerator. Any size larger than the dormitory would be welcomed. Please email me if you may be upgrading/dating your kitchen and would like to donate your old fridge."

All-Caps Criminals: On the MPD-5 email list, one member has an inquiry: "I am concerned about the old vacant Margaret Murray Washington Senior High School in the unit block of O Street NW. Usually, the school would have lights come on surrounding the building at night but, as of lately, when night time approaches, all of the lights surrounding the building as of now, does not come on at all and it is so dark around and in front of the school, that it will be a safe haven for the 'DRUG DEALERS and other CRIMINALS' to do their illegal activities there. I did call 311 at the Mayor's Citywide Office Center numberous times to take care of the problem but, I got no response or feedback from anybody."

Not Petworthy: Petworthies explains just who the heck John Jordan Crittenden—who has a side street named after him in the neighborhood—was: "His greatest contribution to history was convincing the Kentucky legislature to vote to keep the Commonwealth in the Union during the Civil War — a neat trick considering that body was was made up pretty much exclusively of white slaveholders. Crittenden made his appeal in a speech delivered March 26, 1861, just a few weeks after the original seven Confederate states agreed a constitution, and a few weeks before the bombardment of Fort Sumter."

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