(MENAFN) In response to a concerning surge in carjackings, auto thefts, and other crimes, Washington, D.C. has launched a multifaceted anti-crime initiative, with police distributing auto tracking devices to address the escalating issue. Jeff Pena, alarmed by the rising crime rates, promptly contacted his father, Raul Pena, a Lyft driver, upon hearing about the initiative. The Pena duo, like many others, queued up near Nationals Park to have a police officer install the tracking device, a simple Apple AirTag, and provide instructions on its usage.
“It's just getting crazy out there," remarked Jeff Pena, highlighting the urgency of the situation, particularly with the approaching holiday season. Rideshare drivers, in particular, have become targets, amplifying the need for increased safety measures. Raul Pena, at 58, expressed his unease, noting how he had curtailed late-night driving due to heightened caution. “I do get nervous sometimes. It's worse now because it gets dark so early in the winter. Right now I feel very unsafe,” he shared.
A week later, Faenita Dilworth, a mother of three and grandmother of two, found herself in a line of vehicles at the old RFK Stadium's parking lot. Here, the city distributed free dashboard cameras as part of its proactive approach to enhance safety for rideshare drivers and delivery personnel. Dilworth highlighted the preventive aspect of the cameras, explaining, “If a person knows they're being recorded, they're less likely to do anything silly.”
This dual initiative comprises not only the distribution of Apple AirTag trackers to residents in designated auto theft hot zones but also the provision of free dashboard cameras for those associated with rideshare and food delivery services. These efforts are integral components of the broader anti-crime offensive initiated by the Metropolitan Police Department and Mayor Muriel Bowser's government. The surge in violent crimes, particularly homicides and car thefts, has prompted a call to action, with Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Lyndsey Appiah categorically characterizing the situation as a crime crisis before the House Judiciary Committee last month.
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