Washington, D.C. is often thought of as a hotbed of crime…and not just because of what goes on in the halls of political power. How bad is the crime scene in our nation’s capital? Apparently so bad that — in a stunning incident of ultimate irony — a news crew covering an anti-robbery press conference was robbed…during the conference.
The TV crew from ABC 7 showed up to report on the press conference by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier and parked not very far from the event. The conference was to announce the formation of the district’s new Robbery Intervention Task Force, which will respond to robbery sprees as they happen, rather than after the fact.
According to reporter Stephen Tschida, the vehicle was less than 100 feet away, and within view by both Bowser and Lanier. Police state the vehicle was parked less than a block away when the crime occurred.
Not that it helped for the vehicle to be parked nearby.
The thieves weren’t even particularly subtle about it. The culprit broke one of the vehicle’s rear windows, tore through it, and walked off with a large amount of camera equipment.
Mayor Bowser tweeted a photo of the event and said, “I am here in @EasternMarketDC to announce the creation of the Robbery Intervention Task Force. #SaferStrongerDC”. She made no mention of the break-in.
The station has thus far declined to give a value for the stolen gear.
Mayor Bowser’s officer reports that robberies were up 5 percent in 2014 over the previous year. However, they also note they’re down 22 percent over 2007, while the city saw a 12 percent increase in population.
However, despite the overall decrease in property crimes, Chief Lanier recently suggested citizens arm themselves. This is a significant departure from the usual stance of law enforcement in the nation’s capital, which has a reputation for being against civilian ownership of firearms. That earlier stance resulted in the District of Columbia versus Heller Supreme Court decision which found the city’s gun control laws to be unconstitutional.