Thieves targeting parking permits in Southwest DC car break-ins

- There has been an uptick in car break-ins in Southwest D.C. and police say there is a common theme to what thieves are stealing.

It can be hard to find parking in this neighborhood and people who live in the area say their Zone 6 resident and visitor parking permits are being targeted.

Along a short two-block stretch on P Street, we found three separate piles of shattered glass from car windows on Friday.

A FOX 5 viewer sent us a photo of his car last month after it was broken into while he was visiting a friend. A visitor parking pass he had on display was the only thing taken. The insurance company told him it had happened three other times on that day alone – cars broken into for their visitor parking pass.

There are many attractions around in this neighborhood, including Nationals Park, and parking is a hot commodity. People who live and park around here said the break-ins are happening more and more.

“Our front office has multiple times given us messages to be really careful of the visitor passes because people have been known to break in and steal them from cars and then sell them,” a resident told FOX 5.

Southwest D.C. is booming with construction and when we asked around, an advisory neighborhood commissioner said she has been receiving complaints that could be linked to this.

“We have a lot of construction going on around here, a lot of construction projects, and some of the residents have been complaining – they indicated that some of the construction workers were parking in residential parking and they could see some of them had [visitor] parking,” said ANC commissioner Gail Fast. “The ANC would love to hear from individuals whose cars have been broken into and who know their visitor parking passes have been stolen. That would be really a great help to us to hopefully try to solve the problem and end it once and for all.”

Fast said the Department of Public Works has been stepping up ticketing and towing efforts in general since this has become such a popular area. But she wants to gather more information about what sounds like a possible scheme going on here.

There are also separate concerns about resident and visitor parking passes being sold online.

D.C. councilmember Charles Allen's office told FOX 5 they are looking into the uptick in vehicle break-ins. 

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