Three individuals attempted to break into an unmarked government vehicle in Washington D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood, prompting Secret Service agents assigned to protect President Joe Biden’s granddaughter to open fire. The incident occurred just before midnight on Sunday when the agents, who were with Naomi Biden at the time, witnessed the suspects breaking a window of the parked and unoccupied Secret Service SUV.
According to Anthony Guglielmi, the USSS chief of communications, a federal agent discharged their weapon, but no one was believed to be injured. The offenders fled the scene in a red vehicle, and an investigation is currently underway by the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the Secret Service. It is important to note that there was no immediate threat to any protectees.
Increasing Incidents of Car Break-ins in D.C.’s Georgetown Neighborhood
Car break-ins and burglaries are unfortunately not uncommon in Washington D.C., particularly in the Georgetown neighborhood where the recent incident involving the attempted break-in of the Secret Service SUV occurred. According to long-time resident Andy Cline, who operates a dog-walking business in the area, broken windows resulting from smash and grab incidents are a frequent occurrence.
Although Cline has not personally encountered individuals in the act of breaking into vehicles, he has often recovered stolen items such as backpacks and laptops and returned them to the owners. He stressed that smash and grab incidents have become increasingly common, showcasing the proficiency of those involved in such crimes.
Residents Express Surprise at the Violent Incident in Their Neighborhood
Megan Hearst, a resident living near the area where the attempted break-in took place, discussed the interesting dynamics of living in Washington D.C. She recalled hearing a noise late Sunday night but did not think much of it, unaware that a gunshot had taken place nearby.
Hearst highlighted the fact that living in the capital exposes individuals to extraordinary events occurring right in their vicinity, without their full awareness. It serves as a reminder of the dynamic nature of the city and the unpredictability of daily life.
Increase in Carjackings and Car Thefts a Cause for Concern
This incident adds to the growing concern over carjackings and car thefts in the nation’s capital. According to crime data released by the D.C. police department, there has been a significant increase in motor vehicle theft cases this year. In comparison to the same period last year, there has been a startling 98% rise in reports of motor vehicle theft, with 6,112 incidents recorded so far. Carjackings have also seen an alarming surge, with 863 reported cases this year, 635 of which involved firearms. Overall, violent crime in the District has increased by 39% this year.
Previous Incidents Raise Safety Concerns Among Politicians
This incident is not the first involving politicians in Washington D.C. U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas was previously carjacked near the Capitol by three armed assailants who stole his vehicle but did not harm him physically. Another incident occurred in February when U.S. Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota was assaulted in the elevator of her apartment building in Washington. These occurrences have added to the growing concern about safety and prompted discussions about police-community relationships and crime prevention strategies.
Crime Concerns Impact Local Businesses
The rise in crime rates has also had a significant impact on businesses within the District. Several establishments have reported shutting down due to crime concerns, affecting the local economy. Authorities and community leaders are now working to address these issues and implement measures to improve safety and restore confidence in the area.