Crime Down in Tenleytown; Car Thefts Spike in 2nd Police District

MPD police car by Cliff

Crime in the AU Park, Tenleytown, and Friendship Heights (PSA 202) area declined over the last month, even as rates increased across the 2nd Police District as a whole.

As reported by Captain Melvin Gresham at the October meeting of the 2nd District Citizens Advisory Council, overall crime in PSA 202 decreased by 20 percent between September 21 and October 20 of this year, as compared to the same 30-day period in 2013. The greatest improvements were in the number of thefts from auto, which dropped 64 percent for the period compared to last year.

However, this good news was tempered by a continued rash of burglaries and a spike in car thefts across the district. 

Fifty burglaries were reported in the 2nd District between September 21 and October 20, 2014; five of those were in PSA 202. Captain Gresham informed the CAC that although there are some similarities among burglaries in the upper end of the district, the police do not currently have concrete evidence that the incidents are related. Police did arrest a young male on October 22 in connection with a first degree burglary in the 1600 block of Connecticut Avenue. MPD is unable to say yet whether the young man has a connection to other burglaries in the district.

While only three vehicle thefts were reported in PSA 202 – up one from last year – the district as a whole experienced a 138 percent increase in car thefts over the same period last year. According to Captain Gresham, car thieves are coming predominantly from the 4th Police District, stealing vehicles in the 2nd District to use in other crimes, and then ditching the cars. Late model Hondas, Toyotas, and Chevrolets are among the most common vehicles stolen in the 2nd District.

Newer cars typically have been more difficult to steal than older models, due to their electronic and on-board computer systems. As reported by CNN last year, car thieves are getting around those systems through palm-sized electronic devices that override car alarms and other electronics. However, it is only recently that police have begun seeing the devices used in the District of Columbia.

Captain Gresham did note, though, that in some stolen vehicles the owners had left car doors unlocked and/or a set of keys in the car. Residents are reminded to keep their cars locked at all times when not in use, and never to leave a spare key in or hidden on their car.

For the full 30-day comparison of crime statistics by police service area in the 2nd District click here.

MPD 2D

map of the 2nd Police District

image of police vehicle courtesy of flickr user Cliff
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