Yuliya Dobrydneva, a Wards Corner resident, wrote the following Letter to the Editor, which was printed on October 13, 2008:
On Friday, Oct. 3 , at about 9 p.m., my teenage son was robbed at gunpoint right in front of DePaul Hospital on Granby Street. He was traveling alone in his car and stopped for the red light in the right lane. A young man with a hood and a bandana over his face and gloves on his hands jumped into the car, pulled out a large caliber gun, yanked the keys out of ignition, pressed the gun against my son’s head and demanded money.The robber took the money from the wallet, then lit up the lighter and burned credit cards, and splashed drink on my son before finally throwing the keys back to him. Only by the grace of God was my son not injured or killed.
The most outrageous thing is that this brazen crime happened in full view of people just a couple of yards away at the bus stop.
All this happened literally two minutes away from our house at Wards Corner. Our sense of safety and security is deteriorating. Just in the last two months, our house and our car were vandalized; drug addicts broke into our porch; our license plates were stolen.
We see unmistakable signs of gang and drug activity in our formerly peaceful community. What we do not see, however, is enough police presence on our streets. While the police efforts are primarily focused on the so-called ‘bad’ neighborhoods, criminal activity overflows into our community, which never before required stepped-up police presence.
Things need to be turned around before it is too late to save our beautiful neighborhood.
This Letter to the Editor can be read on the Virginian-Pilot’s website: Granby Crime Wave
They tell us that the police are back up to full capacity, and once again they have changed our boundaries. The greater Wards Corner area now reaches from the foot of the Granby St. bridge once you have crossed over to Tussing Blvd. to the I 64 over pass and over to Larchmont around 40th St. up to the Naval Base. We have exactly FIVE Patrol cars working twelve hour rotating shifts. These Officers also have to respond to calls out side of their area as they are needed because other areas are short too. We might also have Four PACE Officers in our area doing the same thing. Is there any wonder we have the problems we have facing us?
Frightening. Until we get adequate police protection, I guess we must remember keep our car doors locked at all times–not just when they are parked!
I made this point clear on my August 14th posting concerning the neighborhood hatch propgram for the Wards Corner area,
“All the civic leagues and neighborhoods in the Greater Wards Corner Area Partnership are encouraged to send representatives to these meetings. As the criminal activity is pushed out of the West Little Creek Road area the other neighborhoods around should have watch programs in place to force the criminal activity out of the Greater Wards Corner Area.”
The police need our help and we need theirs. We need to work together to fight the criminal activity. Between this robbery and the shooting on Sheryl Drive I would expect to see more people at the neighborhood watch meeting on October 28th at 6:30pm in the Workforce Development Center.
In addition, I would hope to see more people at the Gang Prevention Meeting on October 29th at Blessed Sacrament Church on Newport Avenue at 7:00pm.
Get involed today in the Greater Wards Corner Area Partnership.
“You only get out of a neighborhood what you put into it”