From the email....

Post alerts about stolen scooters and other criminal mischief
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From the email....

Postby tony » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:54 am

Not sure where, but third district PSD.

I went to school the whole day today and when I came home, my garage was broken into (which has a huge gate, locked) and stole my red and white Honda Metropolitan scooter. They did not break the chain, they just push the gates to extend the chain enough to push the bike out. The bike was locked in two places.

I called 911 and the dispatcher told me right off the bat that police officers do not have to come out and suggested me to just file a report over the phone. In the confusion, I initially agreed but then changed my mind, I requested the officers to come out to check the scene. The dispatcher said that police officers would contact me soon. I waited for an hour, and called back. The dispatcher said that since I had a Virginia cell phone number, police officers could not, or would not call back because it would be a long distance call (?) I do not keep a land line for financial reason, and I always used my cell phone.

I saw a lot of scooters in DC that did not have license plate, and officers do not usually pull them over. I think that it's very unlikely that they would find it (it's registered), so I don't have any high hope they would find your bike. Your situation is at least slightly better, since you saw your bike again.

Now I'm sitting here waiting for the police officers to come and file the report. The first call was almost 3 hours ago.

My first call to 911 to report the break in at my house was more than 4 hours ago. 4 hours and 3 calls later (each call interval was more than an hour), the dispatcher still told me that they would send the first available officers.

When I called the first time, the lock chain and the gate were still dangling which means the burglary was recent. They couldn't have gotten very far because with the lock at the steering handle and an inner lock, the would have to push it. This must be a quick job, because I had an expensive helmet on a table next to the scooter and they didn't take it. Had the dispatcher send out and officer right then and there, there would be a good chance to find them.

On my last follow up call, the dispatcher advised me to go to bed and she'll have the officers come back tomorrow. I'm not sure who could go to bed when their house was just broken in without being able to talk to an officer and have him/her checking the scene first.

I understand that this being the city, and the police force might have already been spread thin on a weekend. However when it takes more than 4 hours to dispatch an officer out, to check a break in scene either by 911 or 311, then both systems are not functioning the way it should.

I am not blaming the dispatcher, or the police officers who in other cases have responded in a timely manner, but when it is this difficult to get an officer out on a rainy sunday evening, the system needs to be redesigned.

It's now 30 min after midnight, and I'm still waiting.
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Spiny Norman
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Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:07 pm

Ahh, these are probably just kids, and shame on anyone who would expect that they should be held accountable for their actions.

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white noise
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Postby white noise » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:28 pm

Oh man, there are so many things in this story that are simply wrong...

Tony, do you know in which area this happened?
I am interested in scooters AND handbags.

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Postby tony » Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:12 pm

Not sure exactly where... Followup:

"On the fourth calls at 1AM (first call was made nearly 5 hours before), the dispatcher forwarded my call to her supervisor, who dispatched an officer to my house.

Officer Johnathan M. Roff who was at the beginning of his shift came. He was very thorough and did a report. The next day, I went out and bought another scooter to replace it. As soon as I came back to my office with the new scooter, a 3rd district officer called and told me that they have recovered the lost one.

It was abandoned a couple blocks from my house, which means they might have never gotten it to run without the key. When I saw it at the towing place, it was badly damaged. I'm glad that it was recovered, and police officers were actively looking for it as soon as the report was filed. I still regretted that had the dispatcher could give it a little higher priority it would have been found earlier with less damages. They had to walk to bike, and obviously couldn't get very far.

I understand that this being the city, 911 dispatchers have to give priority to more serious cases (shooting, murders, etc), but I'm not sure as citizens we should accept the quid pro quo of living in the city = accepting a crime rate that paralyzed the 911 system.

Many thanks to officer Roff and the officers who actively looked for the vehicle once the report was filed."
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Postby spoffy » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:21 pm

Yikes, these stories are piling up disturbingly quickly. Doesn't make me want to ride in DC proper anytime soon.
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Postby kev187 » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:24 pm

I am sorry to hear your experience. I can tell you that DC Police seem to be very overran. We have a shared Jurisdiction with them on my job, but when its in what we refer to as out Extended Jurisdiction, we have a new policy that tells us DC police must take calls. The other day I had an accident right in front of me, we could have done the accident report in 15 minutes, but since it was in our extended shared jurisdiction & not Capitol HIll proper, we had to call DC police.. they never showed, we called back & at the same time about noon, they were responding to a homicide on 8th street SE, finally out supervisors allowed us to take the report.

Since we have moved to letting DC take all the call in out Extended area, they next to never show, all the priorities are pushed & active crimes in progress are put forward. So the wait for non-emergency in the city, is a long one, as you experienced. I cannot figure it out honestly.

In Fairfax I have called for noise complaints & kids being kids & the cops come in about 20 minutes?

I can tell you, that since I have been riding, I have talked to more of out pro-active patrol officers (I ride a mountain bike) they have taken new initiative to stopping & running scooters without tags. This is good and bad of course, good because stolen scooters can be recovered this way, bad because I know so many of you out there do not properly register/insure you scoots. On capitol hill scooters are being paid more attention to. You can thank me or be angry at me for that one.

I hate to hear so many of you in DC having so many problems! As I mentioned in a previous post, one of our own officers shot & killed a man who drew a handgun on him & attempted to steal his KLX650 Kawasaki. Luckily he was able to make way to his service weapon in time. Its not the type of environment I would want to live/ride in.

So be careful, keep a better eye on your scooters & if you see someone coming off a sidewalk at you quickly, hell just ride away as fast as you can. As far as the 911 calls in DC, I really doubt that is going to change, those guys are just too damn busy with active crimes it would seem!~!

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