From the “funny but not really” file…

About 6 years ago I signed up for local alerts – notices of disasters, community meetings and crimes delivered by email to my in-box.  Crime alerts arrive with subject lines like:  <Robbery>  ,   <Shooting> ,   <Deadly Force> ,   <Hit and Run> ,   <Homicide in X Street> ,   <Homicide Victim Identified> ,  <Suspect Sought> ,  <Gun retrieved>.
Given the number of these I get each day I’m sometimes surprised that I actually leave the house!
Of course I could unsubscribe but then I might miss something important.  So …  I generally stick to reading the <Daily Crime Report>  of summarized offenses where I can skim the streets listed and generally dismiss them as being an “away from home street”.
Yesterday this one came with subject  <robbery>.     I admit to laughing as I read it, but it’s a case of something being funny when the situation is not.  I can certainly appreciate how traumatic and definitely un-funny it would be to have a gun pointed at you.
This afternoon, at approximately 3 pm, two subjects entered the liquor store in the xx block of Y Road. They were wearing ski masks. One of the suspects brandished a handgun and demanded to know where the safe was. Ultimately, they ran out of the store partly carrying and partly dragging a black metal safe, roughly 18 inches in length, width and height. It weighed well over 100 pounds and contained a sizable amount of cash. They also took a large bottle of tequila……
At 7am yesterday morning I had come across this scene at my metro station on my way to work:    IMG_1489a
3 Transit Police vehicles, 4 MPD police cars and one young man spread-eagled at the metro entrance.   As I descended into the metro (well, surely I’d have been stopped if there was a serious situation),  there were police all over the platform.  I checked those alerts all day (which is how I came to be reading the robbery one) and never did find out what had happened!

20 responses

  1. I wonder if they’ll get it open before the police hunt tracks them down. 😉

    I was annoyed one evening when several helicopters circled around our neighborhood. Windows shook, very obnoxious noise. We’re near an Air Force base and subjected to this crap constantly. I wanted to call the police and say, what the hayl is going on?

    But instead I found a website with a live feed of police / fire dispatch. It was awesome, and strangely reassuring. You might enjoy that more than grim alerts.

    • LOL – I’m imaging it sitting in someone’s house with a cloth over it and a vase of flowers on top 🙂

      Our police are very responsive to emails and I’m on a couple of listservs where I see questions sent to them from “concerned citizens” and the responses. So, if there was a helicopter buzzing around someone would write & ask what the reason was & police would reply. I’ve been very impressed with this system. We we can even email the DC police chief direct on police matters and get a response.

  2. I subscribe to a similar service with our city police. It makes sense if you’re living in a neighborhood with a lot of “police activity:” then you know why the police helicopter is flying around and around your house (an old man with dementia had walked away from his home and the police were trying to find him), or why there was a chorus of sirens at 4 a.m. on your street (an elderly man had a heart attack after being threatened with a knife by his own adult son). It can be unnerving to know how crime-ridden your neighborhood is, but like Amelie I get a certain amount of reassurance from knowing what’s going on.

    I’ve noticed that when thieves rob a store, they often steal besides the cash register or safe a bottle of liquor. Is it to celebrate their heist afterwards, or to calm down after holding up some cashier at gunpoint, I wonder?

    • Yeah, I think to celebrate, but the image of them dragging the safe and swigging the Vodka (a large bottle at that) made me laugh.

      Yes we get the “critical missing person” alerts which always seem to be elderly people who’ve wandered away from home and I do look at the photos to see if I’ve seen them on the street.

    • No, we’re on the other side of the park … that is Georgia Avenue in the photo – there’s a lot of new development happening between Shaw/Howard and Petworth. We used to live 3 miles north of the zoo on Connecticut Avenue – I never knew crime reports existed then because there just wasn’t any “visible” crime in that area. (though a resident in our apartment block was murdered but they determined that was committed by someone the victim knew).

        • Yeah, Woodley Park gets some of that Adam’s Morgan overflow and yes, I’m pretty sure there is a lot of under-reported crime in the “better” areas. But, I was never worried about walking a mile from Van Ness metro in the middle of the night on my own and there was never glass in the street where cars had been broken into. Where we live now I don’t walk 4 blocks from the metro once it gets dark and I wouldn’t own a car here unless we could get it into the backyard. It’s getting better though 🙂

          • yes, ikwym about the area around the Van ness Metro station, though I wouldn’t have wanted to make that walk on my own at night.

            You’re on the rougher side for sure… I hope things get better. (for everyone; I am not happy about the way a lot of D.C. is all of a sudden getting “gentrified,” because so many decent people are being forced out of their neighborhoods and homes.)

    • LOL – some guys here determined that they couldn’t break into an ATM so they wrapped a chain around it and backed up a pickup truck only to find that the chain wasn’t long enough. Then they drove their truck into drink machines to push them out of the way to get closer to the ATM. Wrapped the chain around it but then when they drove forward the chain fell off. They reattached it and it fell off again LOL – it was all captured on security camera.

    • 🙂 Yeah, I thought they could’ve taken more alcohol – one each perhaps.

      And about those ski masks – there was a move by some residents in DC to have them banned, especially after there were many incidents of street crime being committed by youths wearing ski masks. Of course it was opposed on the grounds that it gets cold here in winter and road workers, garbage men & law-abiding joggers wear them.

  3. stuff like that happens by me all the time. we frequently have HOURS of the police helicopter flying over but no news as to what went on. i’d listen to their scanners but their channels are encrypted.

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