A lot of vandalism and other petty crime happens in Georgetown. Cars are prowled, buildings are tagged, windows are smashed. Unfortunately, things aren't much different on Beacon Hill (or Capitol Hill, or the U-District, or Wallingford...).
Unless I'm making a plea to a specific business owner to please clean up the mess that they've been given, I usually don't photograph or describe the exact location of specific problems, mostly because I don't want to give the vandals the publicity. We all know these problems are everywhere; we all know it sucks.
I think good business owners see cleanup of graffiti and broken windows as a cost of doing business in an urban area, and they file police reports to get it on record and deal with fixing things right away. And if they're also very, very, very lucky, they are able to see the perpetrators apprehended and punished.
The owners of 24 Karat Antiques in Georgetown had their windows smashed out early last Friday. I believe they are relative newcomers to Georgetown and hadn't suffered significant damage to their store before, and I feel very sorry for them that they had to start the lovely Memorial Day weekend on such a shitty note. But they're relatively fortunate in that there were witnesses to the crime, and the perpetrator was caught and taken to jail.
Thes 24 Karat owners recently bought the property that their store is located in, and they have been criticized for not announcing to the community what their plans are for the space (and its longstanding tenants, including Georgetown Pharmacy). As I mentioned a month ago (and the bona fide Georgetown blogger provided more details on), there's been talk that the 24 Karat owners might not be committed to ensuring that these longtime Georgetown businesses keep their spaces. I figured that the 24 Karat folks would eventually pipe up, but I haven't heard a word. (I must also disclose that I have not gone there to investigate. I'm a full-time worker, a Beacon Hill blogger, an avid gardener, a third-trimester mother-to-be, and a summertime layabout -- my amateur Georgetown journalist hat is not getting a whole lot of use these days.)
Anyway, today the 24 Karat folks shared their sad news from the weekend and said they wanted to start a discussion about what happened. In a long e-mail to the neighborhood mailing list, they suggested that they might have been singled out as victims of community animosity and explained that a thoroughgoing criminal investigation is underway.
I was hoping that their call for a community discussion was a prelude to an explanation about what their plans are for the building, but they didn't mention anything about it in the e-mail. So I asked them about it. And many other community members did too. They have yet to respond, but I hope they do. They sound like they want to feel like they're more part of the community, and I think a simple e-mail about their plans would go a long way toward helping that happen.