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Taking note . . .

Observations about public affairs in the nation's capital

by the editor of The Common Denominator

RAMPANT VEHICLE THEFTS: Second Police District Commander Jeff Moore last week cautioned residents of his upper Northwest Washington area, which is widely considered to include the District's safest streets, to beware of a recent increase in thefts from autos. "With the holidays just around the corner," Moore wrote in an e-mail message to Ward 3 residents, "I would like to ask your readers to be careful not to leave valuables in the passenger compartment of their cars. Items like cell phones, laptop computers, cameras, coats, etc. are too tempting to thieves." Moore advised to lock such items in the vehicle's trunk if they cannot be taken into a home or workplace.

Good advice. And residents of other parts of the District would be well-advised to heed Moore's warning, as well, as recent crime data from the Metropolitan Police Department (see Police Blotter on page 7) show that a citywide rash of vehicle-related crimes appears to be in progress.

The Third Police District, headquartered near 16th and V streets NW, slightly outpaced the Second District as the citywide leader in the number of items stolen from vehicles during the most recent two-week period, Oct. 25-Nov. 7, for which MPD had supplied crime data at press time. That category of crime was running high during the two-week period in all except the two police districts located east of the Anacostia River.

During the same period, auto thefts increased dramatically and were running high almost everywhere except the First Police District, encompassing Capitol Hill and a large section of downtown, and the Second District. The Fourth and Sixth Police Districts, which contain some of the city's wealthiest black neighborhoods, have been hardest hit by the car thieves.

LEADING CANDIDATE: While D.C. Statehood Green Party candidates failed to capture any of the seats they sought in the Nov. 5 election, party wags note that Joyce Robinson-Paul got the highest percentage of votes received by any Green Party Senate candidate nationwide - even though the District's Senate position is merely an unpaid lobbying job. Robinson-Paul, who also sought and won re-election to her nonpartisan seat as a Ward 5 advisory neighborhood commissioner, got 14 percent of the vote in her unsuccessful bid to defeat incumbent Democratic "shadow" Sen. Paul Strauss. Jim Sykes got 7 percent of the vote in Alaska for second-best showing nationwide among the Greens' Senate candidates.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator