Reported neighborhood thefts rise

The number of thefts in the police service area GW falls under nearly doubled in the last month, a rise city police attribute to an upswing in crime at commercial establishments.

Police Service Area 207 saw 81 thefts from Jan. 31 to March 1, a jump from the 45 incidents in the same time frame last year, according to Metropolitan Police Department data.

The thefts make up more than 75 percent of all crimes in the area during that time.

MPD spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said the unit is working with “public and private entities” to spread information on crime trends and prevention tips, as well as suspect information, she said. Crump declined to provide further details on what the department is doing to combat theft.

The theft spike corresponds with an increase in electronics robberies across the District this year. MPD began offering up to $10,000 rewards in January to individuals who turn in robbery suspects or those who illegally sell electronics.

The majority of thefts take place on private property, including commercial establishments like clothing stores, restaurants and office buildings, Crump said. Electronics are among the most commonly stolen items.

PSA 207 covers the Foggy Bottom Campus and is bound by 14th and M streets, the Potomac River and Rock Creek.

The Foggy Bottom Campus saw 47 incidents of theft during the same one-month time frame this year, compared to 39 cases last year, the University Police Department’s crime log shows. Not all crimes reported to UPD are also logged by MPD.

UPD Chief Kevin Hay said in most cases of theft at residence halls, victims left their doors unlocked.

“Many thefts in residence halls, occur when valuables are left in drawers or out in the open, so we encourage students to use foot lockers with locks or room safes,” he said.

Hay added that he considers crime a community problem, not just a police department issue.

“We need students to act as the eyes and ears of law enforcement when they see suspicious persons attempting to enter a residence hall,” he said.

Cory Weinberg contributed to this report

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