D.C. to Give Away Free Tracking Tags to Help Recover Stolen Vehicles


I’ve been to Washington D.C. twice. No, I did not wear buffalo horns during either of my visits. The first time, was in the 1970s during a “educational” trip with my family. We visited all the famous places. This included the White House public tour, which was at the time about as impressive to see as the lobby of Motel 6! They have probably improved over the years. I thought the place could have used a new coat of paint. My wife and I went back ten years later. We were in town to attend a business meeting, so we went to Mount Vernon.

But I do not recall feeling in danger. On both occasions, however, we only visited the tourist areas. It was a different era. The D.C. of today is not what it was. You can tell that by looking at crime statistics.

Slowly, blue city leaders across the country have begun to admit that their laissez-faire approach to crime is not working. Muriel Bowser, the mayor of D.C., is among them. Her Honor may have finally taken the first step towards recovery after Henry Cuellar was carjacked.

WUSA, a D.C.-based TV station, reports that the number of vehicle thefts in what’s left of Washington DC has increased by 101% since last year. The mayor decided to use a passive approach in order to combat the problem. The city has decided to give out digital tracking tags instead of enforcing laws that decent people are happy to follow.

Then, if a car is stolen, the vehicle will be easier to locate. This is assuming that it hasn’t been crashed, or disassembled. Or that the thieves didn’t find the tag in a trash can or on a Metrorail seat for fun.

Bowser made the following comment in a press release issued Wednesday, after an announcement:

We introduced legislation last week to address crime trends. This week, residents will be equipped with technology to help MPD address crimes, recover cars, and hold individuals accountable. We’ve had success with programs that make it easier for MPD and the community to work together, from the Private Security Camera Incentive program to the Wheel Lock Distribution Program – and will continue to add new tools to keep our city secure.

Pamela A. Smith, acting chief of police said the goal was not only to prevent carjackings and vehicle thefts but also to help the police find and recover vehicles as well as gather evidence. Not everyone receives a tag. Six police services in the city have identified areas where car thefts are a problem.

It’s certainly better than nothing. There is no mention of hiring more police officers, increasing patrols, or supporting those already in place. This tacitly admits that, if you live in D.C. your car is likely to be stolen at some point or at least someone will try.

The city has announced its terms of surrender to criminal elements. The city tells residents that, while it can offer technology to assist in car thefts, the problem is largely theirs. The city can send a social worker who will help the victim deal with the situation, as well as help the perpetrator understand his crimes and why he did it.

Bowser, however, is forgetting his history. Some people dispute the story of Willie Sutton, the notorious bank robber. However, it is said that Sutton was asked, when he was captured, why he robbed the banks. Sutton’s autobiography states that he would have said, “I would rob a bank because that is where the money lies.” He denied this but admitted that he would have answered that way if asked. He did, however, say the following:

Why did I rob a bank? Why did I rob banks? It was great. I felt more alive than ever when I was robbing a bank. I loved it all so much, that I would be looking for a new job a few weeks later.

The reason people steal cars is because they want to get a free vehicle, it may seem like a good plan at the moment, or it can give them a rush of adrenaline. People steal cars for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that they are bad. Good people pay taxes in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. A good police chief and mayor would ideally take the responsibility of making sure that citizens never have to worry about being carjacked. It’s D.C. where everything is not perfect.