Back in January I put together a list of reported crimes involving guns that got a fair amount of attention. My impression has been that after a really frightening spike in gun-related crime in January, things calmed down considerably for a couple of months. I attributed this largely to an expanded police presence and more aggressive patrolling.
Unfortunately, that lull seems to have ended with a number of shootings and increasingly frequent reports of gunfire in the past few weeks. I don’t know if that’s because the police “surge” has slacked off, or if it’s for totally unrelated reasons. We have had at least a couple of instances of shootings virtually within sight of police personnel, so it’s obvious that police presence won’t necessarily prevent a drive-by.
I’ve collected and done a little analysis of the published police crime statistics for PSA 308 from Feb. 1 through the middle of May. Of course, there are problems with the police stats, since these only include cases where there is a complainant. So if, for example, someone gets shot and refuses to make a complaint, it doesn’t go on the books (at least that’s how I understand it), and the cases don’t include reports of gunfire where no one gets hit.
Still, I think they’re interesting, so here’s what I found. According to the stats, since February 1, there have been:
- 7 cases of assault with deadly weapon. Two of these were with a gun, both in the 1300 block of 7th Street; one was with a knife. The rest were listed as “other”.
- 18 reported robberies. Six of these involved a gun. Two happened on the 1100 block of 5th Street (one with a gun, the other an “attempt”).
- 10 reported burglaries. Only two of these occurred when the premises were occupied. Two were in the 1500 block of Marion, and two in the 400 block of Warner.
- 19 theft cases. These included two cases of shoplifting, 1 stolen bicycle (guess which one), and one set of car tags. Of the rest, the reported value of the stolen items was less than $250 in 10 of the cases, more than $250 in 5 cases.
- 22 stolen autos. Three of these were in the 400 block of Ridge Street, and two in the 1100 block of 5th Street.
- 28 thefts from autos (typically the most frequently reported crime). Four were in the 900 block of L Street, two in the 400 block of N Street, and 2 in the 500 block of L. The rest were scattered throughout the PSA.
Overall, the location with the most crimes was the 1300 block of 7th (no surprise there) with nine reported cases. There were five in the 1100 block of 5th, and four each in the 1500 block of Marion, 400 block of N, 400 block of Ridge (incl. the corner of Ridge and 5th), and the 900 block of L.
According to the police stats, overall the number of both violent and property crimes is down 16% compared with the same period last year. If it doesn’t seem that way, it’s probably because of all the gunfire seen and heard in the neighborhood since the beginning of the year, which tends to trump the official numbers for most people.
Of course, all crimes are worrisome, but I think most people are most concerned with those that involve major bodily injury or the threat thereof, particularly when firearms are used. So here’s my list of the crime reports that seem to me to be the most serious. (The number in parens starting with “7” is the police case number, where applicable.):
--2/3, ADW with gun (shooting), 1300 block of 7th, 15 y/o girl hit [actually happened on 2/2] (7015696);
--2/23, Robbery with gun, 600 block of L, (7023818);
--3/12, Robbery with gun, 1800 block of 6th, (7031687);
--3/19, Robbery with gun, 700 block of N, (7035030);
--4/3, Robbery with gun, 400 block of M, (7042621);
--4/4, Robbery with gun, 1200 block of 6th, (7042750);
--4/16, ADW with gun (shooting), 1300 block of 7th, 22 y/o male hit (7048668)
--5/12, ADW with gun (shooting), man shot in drive-by at 9th and P (PSA 307, 062-373)
The following were reported in blogs and list serves, but don’t show up on the police stats; so I can’t vouch for accuracy. Please let me know about mistakes or omissions:
--2/10, shots heard near 7th and Q
--3/27, new bullet holes seen at Kelsey Gardens at 7th and Q (site of January homicide)
--4/2, shots heard fired near 6th and P/Q/Marion
--4/21-22, shots fired off (into the air?) around 7th and N
--4/23, shots fired (?), 500 block of Q, street blocked off with police tape
--5/1, shots heard fired near 5th and N
--5/2, shots heard vicinity of 5th and M (also heard at 11th and M)
--5/6, shooting at 7th and O, 2 males hit but uncooperative with police
--5/11, shots fired near Marion and Q
--5/13, gunshots heard in 400 block of Ridge
Bottom line: I think there has been some improvement since that horrendous January spree, but the recent trend is pretty troubling because the shootings seem to be picking up again.