By JOSH WILLIAMS
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 – Even in the season of good will, residents and visitors to the District should be mindful of seasonal crime.
Capt. Michael Reese of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department warned that holiday shoppers should take special precautions while out. “The people that perpetrate robberies are predators, and they know more people are out shopping,” Reese said.
Reese, a 21-year veteran of the force, offered some holiday shopping tips: Do not leave anything visible in the car, even change; always lock car doors; and stay in well-lit areas.
As for the police force, it has a heightened police presence across the city. It’s such a good deterrent for theft and robbery, according to Reese. During the holidays, the department also deploys police academy officers, even those not allowed to carry firearms, Reese said.
Following a short spike in robberies in 2005, Reese said the department started the Career Criminal Unit, now known as the Robbery Task Force. He attributes that unit, along with better equipment and information sharing among patrol officers, for part of the decline in crime from last year.
According to statistics released by the city, the District has seen a steady drop in crime for more than a decade, including incidents of theft and robbery.
To keep abreast of crime in your neighborhood or favorite shopping district, view the American Observer crime map. Police reports made available from the city are added to the map daily.