11 July, 2011

A Message from Commander Daniel Hickson

I have spent my first two weeks trying to absorb as much as I could concerning the current crime trends within the First District. The First District has made progress on reducing many categories of crime; however, one category of crime has been a chronic problem this year and that is the offense “theft other”. This would include all thefts that are other than “thefts from autos”. As police managers we continually view crime stats and offense reports attempting to identify any emerging crime trends and/or patterns. Thefts appear to be the one crime that is consistently showing an increase. Theft is not as serious an offense as crimes like robbery or burglary, but there is no question that due to shear numbers, more of your friends and neighbors stand a chance of being a victim of theft than any other crime.

The First District Crime Analyst has provided me with a detailed analysis of our thefts. This report shows that the locations of thefts within the First District are distributed between commercial, residential and public space. The one pattern that is clearly shown is that bicycles are the target of thefts more than anything else. In fact, bicycles were stolen in one third of all thefts that occurred in the First District in the last 30 days. I would like to appeal to all members of the First District Community to assist us in our attempt to address this pattern of theft of bicycles.

The first step that each person could take would be to store their bicycles in a secure location. There have been thefts of both locked and unlocked bicycles in the past month. In just about all cases that the stolen bicycle was locked, they were secured with a “cable” type bike lock, as opposed to the hard, U-shaped bike lock. The second step would be to maintain accurate records of all valuable property. Since there is seldom an eyewitness to the theft of a bike, the other opportunity to apprehend the criminal is through locating identifiable property. Unfortunately, we often discover when we take reports that bike owners have not recorded the bicycle serial number. If you record this valuable information and are able to provide it to the police in the event your bike is stolen, it would increase the chance of recovering your property.

I appreciate your assistance with helping us abate this crime trend.

Commander Daniel Hickson
Metropolitan Police Department
First District
101 M Street SW

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