Northwest DC

Multiple cars broken into in broad daylight in Northwest DC

“I feel violated. I don't know if there’s any better word for that.”

NBC Universal, Inc.

What started as a fun afternoon between a father and son, ended with broken glass and a police report.

Rohit Tripathi said he was thrilled when his son Shrey landed an internship, so he took the teen to Ben's Chili Bowl to celebrate. While they were enjoying lunch at the local landmark, about a block away at 12th and T Street Northwest, a thief was breaking into cars — including their’s.

“We realized something was wrong when the cop was standing next to our car, and we were literally a block away,” he said. “I thought I was going to get a ticket, turned out that my passenger side rear window was smashed.”

The back window of a 2022 Tesla Model 3 smashed and a bag with two laptops and other valuables gone. Several witnesses who lived nearby called the cops and snapped pictures of the suspect as it was going down. By the time police arrived it was too late.

“I feel violated,” Tripathi said. “I don't know if there’s any better word for that.”

“The computer that I was basically doing my work on, it’s all gone,” said Tripathi’s son.

Tripathi said he’s relieved it wasn't worse, but it still stings.

“This person could be armed, and if we had caught them in the act or yelled something, we don’t know what their reaction might have been, so I think we’re definitely counting our blessings,” he said.

Neighbors in the area told News4 car break-ins like these and package thefts are on the rise in the area, and they need help.

“Don’t think that crime happens to other people,” Tripathi said. “Crime can happen to you.”

While the search continues for the person behind the break-in, Tripathi had an important reminder for anyone driving and parking in the District.

“Don’t take any chances even if the neighborhood looks nice,” he said.

Anyone who knows anything that can help with the investigation is encouraged to call the Metropolitan Police Department.

Contact Us