Submitted by gator_fl t3_11cj3p3 in washingtondc

Just watched an NBC4 investigation into carjackings in the area. As we all know, so many issues with DC MPD and other government agencies.....

D.C. is seeing on average more than one carjacking per day this year. The latest report on the MPD Carjacking Dashboard shows 82 carjackings in 2023 as of Feb. 22 (82% unsolved). The department says they’ve closed 14 of the cases. They report just eight arrests. Some suspects are charged in more than one.

Successful prosecution requires more then the videos of the masked carjackers.

DC MPD Sgt Barnes admitted she could use more officers on the District’s Carjacking Task Force. One investigator recently left the task force for another assignment in the department, leaving her with 11 detectives. Barnes says she “would love another 10 (detectives),” insisting she has work for them right away.

In one case from September, victim said an MPD detective told her the department is still waiting on fingerprint analysis from the scene of the crime. It’s been five months. “(It) could be more," Sgt. Barnes admitted. “No one (has time to wait). Not even our victims."

Sgt. Barnes said evidence delay is just one of the frustrations her team is up against as D.C. faces a serious and violent rash of carjackings (Mention of Dept. of Forensics history of issues with accreditation).

I think reported 2,700 violent car jackings in area jurisdictions over the years.

One neighborhood now has a WhatsApp group to message each other for an escort if feeling unsafe parking.



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MarkinDC24 t1_ja3bq1m wrote

If I haven’t said it enough, I will say it again: put an AirTag in your car. If evidence takes 66 days to process, it is unlikely you will catch the criminals for months. If you have a tracking device in your car, police have a solid lead on where the criminals went, and the police can follow the lead to get the criminals.

Note: Hide the tag somewhere extremely hard to find and/or get to. Perhaps a nook inside of your trunk. These criminals are creative but we can beat them.


swampoodler t1_ja3oh6o wrote

Still a police problem though.

”Saldo's car has a tracking system called Uconnect. When she turned it on, she saw it was pinging a garage in Anacostia. She gave the location to police and says officers found a man passed out inside her car. But, she says, since police had never marked her car as stolen, they didn’t arrest the man.”

Police didn’t care enough to label a clearly stolen vehicle as stolen. Wrist-slaps and less paperwork all the way.


MarkinDC24 t1_ja3sams wrote

Your point is what exactly. From the same article you shared:

“Saldo says she encourages people to put trackers in their cars and hopes others don’t have to go through what she did.”

Of course, police should be held accountable. I think, Saldo was using the media to hold police accountable. But, let’s be clear, Saldo still suggested people use tracking devices in their own cars, and hoped in holding the police accountable - with her media messaging - they would correct their mistake of not marking the police car stolen in the future.

Final note: This happened in 2021, I hope there are not anymore articles similar. That is to say, perhaps Saldo holding police accountable caused them to fix the issue.


swampoodler t1_ja3v5ho wrote

>Your point is what exactly

The cops are incompetent and the criminals get off easy.


MarkinDC24 t1_ja3wc1f wrote

I mean, I hear you that you believe the cops are incompetent. I would argue, however, the news broadcast provides a more complex answer to the problem: (1) there are police staff storages; (2) and, issues with evidence analysis (I.e., long wait times). Both staffing shortages and evidence wait times are hindering police officers ability to catch criminals. Did you not take away or understand those points in the OP’s broadcast?


Deanocracy t1_ja446n4 wrote

What happens when the criminal is arrested?

Nothing. So why focus on this when they arrest them and nothibg happens?


MarkinDC24 t1_ja4c3mr wrote

I personally can not commiserate with you about the current state of affairs. In real life, I am busy consulting with others about mechanisms to change law enforcement and criminal codes. In policy, one important mechanism for change are special interest groups who know which levers to pull for their desired results. Consulting takes up way to much of my time, and I do not have time to lament about the status quo.

Good luck to you!


throwaway38r2823 t1_ja56xbp wrote

This is a really condescending and unsympathetic response.

In real life, I am just trying to navigate public transit safely to get to my public sector job so I can try to help this country for pay way below what I could command elsewhere because I really give a shit. I personally am concerned by trends in law enforcement that imperil my ability to get to my job safely, including what happens to criminals once they are caught.

Everyone in this sub is also trying to just get to their real life job and live their life, and their concerns are valid. Who are you to carve out plenty of time to comment on this subreddit in the first place but then claim some false "too busy trying to solve the real problems" excuse to diminish someone who has a valid concern about how the city they live and work in is being managed?


MarkinDC24 t1_ja5ebac wrote

You believe it is condescending and unsympathetic. I hear you, but that wasn’t my intention.

In real life, everyone is navigating to their job and wants safety. There are strong narratives in our country that police “don’t do their jobs”. When, point of fact, it is often more complex than people realize. The OP literally shared a broadcast detailing the complexity of car thefts, and people still simply the matter to: “police don’t want to do their jobs.” That’s disingenuous.

People can have concerns, but we all need to learn how to channel those concerns constructively. Lest we just sit there and lament. Another option, there is a vacancy on the DC Board of Sentencing. Check it out,{%276%27.EX.%27sentencing+commission%27}AND({%2724%27.EX.%27Active%27})~

Good luck!


Deanocracy t1_ja5j295 wrote

For a professional consultant in this sphere you sure missed the point of my question…


Deanocracy t1_ja440lf wrote

Keep that anger towards the prosecutor that would not prosecute them for anything on the basis they cant prove carjaccking.

Possession of stolen property? Unauthorized use of a vehicle? Trespassing… yaaaawwwn naw


gnucheese t1_ja3hurl wrote

Sounds like you will be forced to steal your car back like some bad 80s comedy.


buxtonOJ t1_ja3isv5 wrote

Or use modern technology to do the cop’s work for them (locating your stolen, expensive investment) and actually seeing a result.


MarkinDC24 t1_ja3rhsz wrote

In truth, it sounds like the police have a staffing shortage. Constructively, citizens helping the police due to staff shortages sounds like a positive thing to do. Of course, it is not ideal, but what is in life exactly?


buxtonOJ t1_ja3t2k8 wrote

I agree, take advantage and be pro active while remaining safe…throwing up your hands and relying on others ain’t going to cut it.


MarkinDC24 t1_ja3rr4z wrote

You’d have to get me drunker than Cooter Brown to try to get my car back from any criminal. However, as I noted, I would call the police and give them the lead. I would hope, they would pursue the individual(s), and I have no reason to believe they wouldn’t.


gator_fl OP t1_ja8fp2p wrote

The messed up thing is they don't respond fast enough, and sometimes car moves around and they say they couldn't find it.

Like you can give them coordinates and hope they get there within hours. They don't want you to tag along with your air tag tracker and won't take your phone even if you tell them to.


BPCGuy1845 t1_ja3n5bi wrote

MPD should have their patrol officers actually do policing instead of sitting under overpasses and dicking around on their phones.


Jabroni_Joestar t1_ja41yk1 wrote

That’s what happens when all traffic enforcement is automated. The mayor and council are all culpable in this. MPD are literally security guards now.


Deanocracy t1_ja44b29 wrote

No thats what happens when the digital policing revolution says they should be in a car to respond faster… per the moneyball-esque data.


gator_fl OP t1_ja8fgln wrote

Can you explain what you mean about moneyball aspect and relatiom to police car response? Thanks.


Deanocracy t1_ja93uti wrote

Data drives the decisions.

So having a cop walk a beat is the same to them as saying someone has an ugly girlfriend.


acdha t1_ja5voc3 wrote

MPD hasn’t done traffic enforcement seriously for much longer than that - the calls for automated enforcement are in part because it’s not getting done otherwise. The officers don’t seem interested in doing it and having the same people receiving calls means that it’s not anyone’s priority.


The_Sauce_DC t1_ja43047 wrote

She’s not wrong- they could use some more people. And things like DNA testing, finger prints, cell site results, tower dumps, and other forensics take weeks to months to come back which doesn’t help. If we had people join up and police like the WAVE unit does in MD and VA we might also get more people but that would require accepting some potential liability.

And the council could help by passing some laws allowing for extended detentions when probable cause is found in a preliminary hearing for carjacking and gun possession. The guys doing these are often doing them in sprees and having them off the street even for an extra week or two will slow down the pace of carjackings and car thefts.


mwheele86 t1_ja4eqqh wrote

I know there was that clusterfuck with the dc crime lab. I’m surprised DC / MD / VA aren’t pooling their resources for some of these tools / labs that all the departments rely on.

Is there much cooperation and communication on this stuff between all the jurisdictions? Seems like that would be helpful but I have no clue.


The_Sauce_DC t1_ja55uf7 wrote

They’re just farming out everything to private labs or federal labs depending on the stage of the case.

No clue on whether labs cooperate around here- they just spit the reports back out a few months after arrest.


Deanocracy t1_ja44gth wrote

Why detain them when prosecutors are going to just dismiss?


The_Sauce_DC t1_ja44wan wrote

If you’re going to a preliminary hearing, the case has been papered already. The US Attorney generally isn’t going to immediately drop a case at that point.


Deanocracy t1_ja45puh wrote

But they will in short time… so why detain them?


SuperBethesda t1_ja3wv09 wrote

I haven’t driven into DC for 2 years. Won’t be doing that anytime soon. It’s Metro for me.


iidesune t1_ja3zxvj wrote

Fwiw, Bethesda is not immune to this and seems like the carjackers have begun expanding outside of the district and into places like Arlington and Silver Spring.


SuperBethesda t1_ja4e9uo wrote

Unlike DC, convicted car jackers in MD and VÀ actually get years of jail time.


gator_fl OP t1_ja8f6cv wrote

Cool. As long as you're not a car passenger and hope the next thing won't be Metro passenger-jacking


DCJoe1970 t1_ja3x9vt wrote

Another great DC day!


DCJoe1970 t1_ja5zlkz wrote

DC is a wonderful place to be!


Tahh t1_ja59efi wrote

tbh, if mpd doesn't have close to enough competent people to sign up to do the job, i don't see how we can expect them to do anything, and it is pretty clear they are hurting for applicants


gator_fl OP t1_ja8exbp wrote

That is an issue, but there's also fault with Council and US Attorney's Office as well.


MCStarlight t1_ja6c0bc wrote

It’s up to citizens now. Lock your doors and roll with a crew if shit goes down.