WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The latest crime data for the 1000 block of H St. NE in the last three months, within a one-mile radius, shows a slight increase in burglaries and a noticeable increase in car thefts.

“It’s changing, it’s changing, it makes you ponder,” said Dexter Riley, who has been a barber in the popular corridor for 28 years.

Lately, Riley has been taking precautions.

He prefers to end his shift a little early now.

“I don’t stay as late as I used to, doing 12-to-13-hour shifts, I maybe do 7 to 9,” Riley said.

ANC Commissioner Mike Velasquez also has noticed a change in tone from some in the community.

“The latest crime pattern is just another example of the wrong direction that H. St. is headed. We need to bring everything to bear to halt this trend and I’m confident we can,” Velasquez said, adding that he hopes the city will work on strategies to reverse the trend.

“We’ve lived here for 20 years and it feels different. When I listen to the small business owners along H St. and the residents who live nearby and patronize these establishments, I hear hopelessness in the words and see despair on their faces. It’s painful and we need to change their outlook,” Velasquez said. “Residents have moved. Others are agonizing about whether they can stay. Business owners feel targeted. It’s hard to keep asking them to hang in there.”

As for the solutions, Velasquez said it will take teamwork.

“I have great respect for the leadership and the patrol officers of the First District.  But, MPD cannot do this alone. The fact is: MPD is undermanned despite the best efforts of the city to recruit new officers.  And, as the Deputy Mayor stated today, law enforcement is only one component of the public safety equation,” he said. “I’d also really like to see H Street Main Street step up here as a substantial partner in these efforts.”