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Auto Theft in First Police

Auto thefts in Metropolitan Police Department’s First District, which includes Capitol Hill and its environs, are on the rise, according to Lt. David Kamperin.

In the past month alone, 145 vehicles have been stolen in the First District, nearly one quarter of which were taken from PSA 102, which stretches from Florida Avenue Northeast to East Capitol Street between Second Street Northeast and Ninth Street Northeast and Maryland Avenue.

The thieves appear to be targeting Dodge and Chrysler vehicles, including Jeep models, Kamperin wrote in a PSA 102 crime alert e-mail last week.

In recent weeks, Focus Mission Team — Auto Theft Unit have arrested seven individuals for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, five of which were juveniles, Kamperin added.

In light of the auto-theft uptick, police are advising residents to park in well-lighted areas, outfit their vehicles with anti-theft devices such as the “club,” and where possible keep their porch lights on.

Moreover, MPD has stepped up its presence in PSA 102 and 103, where the problem is most severe, particularly during “the high incident” days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday (between 5 and 11 p.m.), Kamperin wrote, adding that fliers will be distributed in the coming days alerting the community of the problem.

— Bree Hocking

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