Unfortunately its also a time ripe for those who commit crimes (whether because theyre poor or because theyre hateful people). News stories have been rampant this year telling people to beware of criminals staking you out when shopping or leaving your own home for a few days. Its the perfect opportunity for thieves to strike- to grab your packages out of your hands, your vehicle or your home while your back is turned or youre hundreds of miles away.
One of my friends got robbed in DC on the 23rd. He was packing his truck to head down to his mothers. In a good mood thanks to the holiday, but as he checked his house one last time and picked up the last of the things he was planning on taking with him there was a loud crash from outside. He came out the door just in time to see a man running down the street with his backpack, looking back at his truck- the window was smashed... among other things, his brand new laptop with his Masters degree thesis paper was in that backpack.
Even scarier? This isnt the first time its happened to him. Last time, they broke in the back window of his truck- grabbing a few things including a rather costly triathalon bicycle.
It gets worse.... I was supposed to have gone to his house the night before for a Christmas party. (I skipped it because I had been up late the night before, been busy at work, and had to deal with a bit of holiday cheer of my own- Someone pulled a hit and run on my car just a week previous while I was in class). His house is also only 5 or 6 blocks from where I take classes, Ive been there many times because we used to do dinner regularly... I never felt unsafe there before- despite having seen a car with a broken window there on a previous occasion. At this point with my history, Im not sure I can go there again... and im certain to be even more nervous each time I head into the city for class.
Things seem to be getting worse rather than better... and the more people I know who have such events happen to them, the more nervous I get about going anywhere near DC. Im very glad I live in VA again... The problem being I used to love exploring DC... and now even despite the elapsed time (almost 8 months) and because of other isolated incidents, Im no where near getting over my fear of the city.