Recently, a discussion began on the Caroline Street listserv about crimes of opportunity in our neighborhood. This started with a friend who saw police outside her home after a car was broken into overnight. I wanted to post my response and continue the conversation with the broader neighborhood:
It is not acceptable that these crimes occur and we need to keep talking, continue sharing stories and learn best practices for preventing this kind of crime in our neighborhood.
While violent crime is way down in our area, what has gone up is burglaries and thefts and I think that's because of a specific effort led by many in the neighborhood, including me, to report package thefts more frequently throughout the year. This has been really successful on the 1400 block of S and Swann Streets. Reporting all crimes when they happen is how we are allocated more police resources as a neighborhood.
Over two years ago, when I was interested in public safety issues, I got involved. I attended ANC meetings, I held public listening sessions on the topic and I was appointed the Public Safety Liaison for the neighborhood. We met with the Chief of Police and her Deputies and advocated for more police in our area. This is all before I was an ANC Commissioner.
One thing I'm really proud of is that last year the ANC submitted a Community Impact Statement to a judge after a serial car thief was again arrested in our neighborhood. You can read more about what we told the judge. The judge sentenced him to 3 years in jail, which is much more time than the average car thief receives. The ANC works with the police regularly to recognize serial criminals and use our great weight to put them behind bars for a long time.
I remain convinced that the best deterrent is an educated neighborhood who knows how to prevent these crimes of opportunity. MPD has some great tip sheets about exactly how you all can do that. I agree with some that we need more walking/biking police officers patrolling our streets and I continue that conversation with Commander Kishter and Lt. Lindsey.
You can view our most recent crime stats below and perform your own search here. We all know that these statistics don't always accurately reflect what happens on our streets. I'm really looking forward to continuing to work together to prevent and reduce crime in our neighborhood.
Good morning Noah,
Commander Kishter forwarded your email to me. With regards to the crime in the neighborhood, I think overall we have done a good job with keeping it down. We have seen a rise recently in burglaries. Many of these burglaries have occurred due to doors and windows being left either open or unlocked. It would be helpful if you could let the neighborhood know that it is important to lock their houses before leaving, as well as securing the windows. I have been noticing that the point of entry for many of the burglaries are from windows being left open. If you give these thieves an opening, they will definitely take the opportunity to take what is definitely not theirs to take!
As for the theft from autos, again, please let the neighbors know that anything left in their vehicles, no matter how insignificant it may be, is something of value to another. Something as irrelevant as a phone car charger is reason to smash a car window for. Loose change in the center console that is visible from the window will give someone reason to again smash the window. Just making some modifications to how we go about our daily routine can drastically change the dynamics of the crimes we are experiencing.
Taking all this into consideration, I have my team proactively placing written materials on vehicles and in some cases in doorways of houses about crime prevention when officers see anything they feel or think may lead to a potential crime. Also, I have added a mountain bike officer to patrol the area during the times we have seen an increase in thefts, as well as the burglaries. I am also walking the beat, through the alleys to assist the officers with identifying areas of concern. These are just a few things we are actively undertaking.
Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions or concerns.
Lt. Nicole Lindsey
Third District/PSA 301