August Crime Report: Crime Rates Fall Across Second District
Despite rising crime rates across Washington, D.C., overall crime in the Metropolitan Police Department’s Second District decreased in August, with declines in nearly all police service areas. Commander Melvin Gresham and Captain David Sledge shared recent crime statistics for the district at the August meeting of the Citizens Advisory Council.
The Second District, which encompasses most of northwest D.C., saw significant declines in property crimes in the last 30 days, particularly in the northern half of the district in the neighborhoods surrounding AU Park, Tenleytown, Chevy Chase, Forest Hills, Cleveland Park, and Woodley Park. Only one police service area, 206/Georgetown, registered an increase in crime, attributable to a slight rise in thefts.
Property crime in the AU Park, Friendship Heights, and Tenleytown neighborhoods (PSA 202) fell by 45% in August.
Not included in the August report were thefts from auto or vehicle thefts; the former has been a perennial problem in the Second District. MPD began transitioning to a new crime database on August 23, and those statistics were not yet available. Captain Sledge anticipated that all data will be available within the next two weeks.
Violent crimes, which include robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, remained low across the district, as has been the trend.
MPD recently arrested two men in the Fourth Police District, who were charged with several robberies there and are presumed to have been involved in a spate of robberies in the Second District earlier this year. While robbery victims in the Second District were unable to positively identify the two men, belongings stolen during the robberies were found in “close proximity” to them. The arrest of these repeat offenders is a contributing factor, Commander Gresham said, to the drop in robberies in Northwest.
Although crime is down generally, Captain Sledge warned residents that MPD is witnessing a rise in thefts of car parts, predominantly from Hondas, Toyotas, and other similar foreign models. Thieves are striking during the midnight shift and targeting tires and airbags. Police believe the thefts to be part of a large scale, professional operation. The removal of airbags takes skill to avoid serious injury and is not consistent with a novice criminal.
Captain Sledge advised residents not to approach anyone they see tampering with cars, but to call 9-1-1 immediately. He also urged car owners to lock their doors, as despite police warnings, many targeted cars have been unlocked making them easily accessible to criminals.
A full break down of crime statistics across the Second District between July 25 and August 25, 2015 is available here.