WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Frustration and fear are growing in the District over recent armed carjackings. Just this past weekend, two delivery drivers were targeted, one of whom was shot.
As D.C. officials work to provide more safety for delivery workers, they are set to hand out free dash cameras to drivers on Tuesday.
The idea is to help deter crime and provide video evidence in case a crime occurs.
“I’m frustrated I have to do this, but if this helps keep my neighborhood safe, this is what we’re doing tonight,” said Denise Krepp, a neighbor.
Krepp put up signs at the corner of 19th and A Streets, SE, on Monday night, telling others a robbery and carjacking happened there Sunday night at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s yet another food delivery guy that comes into the neighborhood trying to make some money, trying to make a living and his car [gets] stolen,” Krepp said.
Police say the driver was standing beside his car when three suspects approached him. One pointed a gun toward him and demanded he give his keys and phone. Then they took off with his red and black Hyundai Sonata.
“Cases have to be prosecuted and individuals actually have to be sentenced. I mean, we’re seeing now more and more articles of individuals who commit pretty violent crimes and then are being let out by the judges,” Krepp said.
Krepp was inspired to put up the signs by a neighbor just a few minutes up the road who posted a similar sign at the corner of 14th and A Streets, NE.
On Friday night just after 10:30 p.m., a delivery driver was shot in the thigh, a neighbor told DC News Now.
Police say the driver was approached by a gunman who demanded the driver’s keys. He handed them over but when the suspect was in the process of driving away, police say the delivery driver said he was going to call the police. That’s when the suspect shot him. The car was recovered on Sunday.
Krepp wants accountability.
“It’s time to say buh bye to all the city council members who wrote the laws minimizing accountability for committing armed carjacking,” Krepp said.
This year to date, there have been 840 carjackings. 74% have involved guns.
DC News Now reached out to the major food delivery companies for comment.
“The safety of the delivery partners who use Grubhub is our top priority and nobody should have to experience harassment or the theft of their vehicle,” A Grubhub spokesperson said. “We are committed to working closely with local authorities, city officials and community stakeholders to address these concerning incidents and ensure a safer working environment for all delivery workers.”
An Uber spokesperson said, “The safety of drivers and delivery people is a top priority at Uber. We are always working to raise the bar and develop new safety features, like the ability to chat with a live safety agent, record trip audio in the app, and share your trip with loved ones. In addition, we partner with law enforcement agencies to develop and send safety information and tips to drivers.”
Free dash cams will be distributed to rideshare and delivery drivers on Tuesday, Nov. 7 and Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at RFK parking lot 3. You have to register in advance.
The program is funded in part by a $500,000 investment from DoorDash.
“We’re constantly working to make dashing even safer, and hope that everyone participating in this program will have even greater peace of mind when out on the road,” said DoorDash’s Head of U.S. Public Policy John Horton. “We are incredibly grateful for our continued partnership with the Bowser administration and their leadership on this important issue. We hope that our work together will collectively help ensure a safer future for the District.”