For a broader audience in Bloomingdale:
The recent armed robberies on our street(s) and in the immediate vicinity are a real wake-up call, and if they are not, then they should be to everyone. It is just really hard to know what other people are doing about this, without any communication or meetings or the like.
It's certainly going to be helpful in deterring crimes of opportunity for us -- neighbors, guests, family -- to be hanging out on the front porches, stoops, and back decks and gardens. That said, I also know that most people will not be sipping a beer, cocktail, or orange juice on the porch at 1:50 AM -- so the crime last night would not have been prevented by that (i.e., a more communal and neighborly attitude) alone. Porch lights, though, do help. So do video cameras, which I wrote about before, as well as just more situational awareness by everyone; and saying "hello" to strangers and looking everyone in the eyes, etc., as opposed to walking down the street with the head down and headphones firmly implanted in the ears.
At this point, clearly, this very violent crime spree of the summer of 2016 has now exceeded the common "summer crime height" that we are used to seeing in the District -- it is a more systemic failure. It may be related, at least in part, to gentrification, to businesses that temporarily draw customers from outside the neighborhood every evening and into the night (creating easy prey), too-cool-for-school "hipsters" who refuse to acknowledge the presence of others and do not say hello when greeted by strangers, and just generally new folks in the neighborhood with very good intentions, who are simply not yet fully used to its old "code" of coexisting respectfully among all ages, races, and respecting the fact that we are, in the sense of community, a microcosm of a "southern" town, so to speak, where people who don't know each other still greet each other, even if just with a head nod. I know that this sounds corny, and it does not seem like a crime-fighting methodology that is approved by the 'authorities', but I'm certain if everybody did it, it would work wonders.
I have spoken with several residents who have lived here for a long time, and they are seriously disturbed by the attitude of the many visitors and newcomers who are not reciprocating a simple "hello" on the sidewalk.
Our neighborhood is clearly targeted -- from the (now almost quaint) package theft incident, to break-ins, all the way to gunpoint robberies. Let's do something about it.