Church Van Stolen in Hill East – District 1 MPD a No Show at PSA 108 at The Church
by Larry Janezich
Sometime during the night on Tuesday or early Wednesday morning, car thieves stole the clearly marked van belonging to Liberty Baptist Church. The thieves cut the lock to the chain link enclosure, hotwired the van and drove it away. The van was later recovered Wednesday afternoon abandoned on Virginia Avenue, SE, engine still running. Reverend Anthony Owens described the incident to CHC, and asked that it be brought up at the PSA 108 scheduled for 7:00pm on Thursday night.
CHC would have done that had any MPD official showed up for PSA 108. None did. A dozen Hill East residents – many of them new faces brought to the meeting on a day when the subject of crime in Hill East lit up the newhilleast listserv. In addition to the newcomers Hill East ANC6B commissioners Nick Burger and Chander Jayaraman were in attendance. In the absence of MPD, those commissioners met with residents for about an hour discussing concerns about crime in Hill East.
The increase in attendance above the handful of residents that usually turn out for the PSA meetings was apparently driven by community reaction to three violent crimes which occurred Wednesday night in Hill East:
- A stabbing at 16th and Independence
- A robbery with force and violence in the 100 block of 14th Street, SE
- A stabbing a Potomac Avenue Metro Station
A posting by a 15 year resident at 13th and C Streets reacting to the night of violent crime and expressing lack of faith in police and elected officials to address the “skyrocketing surge in crime’ set off a day-long crime discussion on the listserv which included notifications of Thursday’s PSA meeting.
District 1 MPD didn’t get the message.