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Denizens of the city’s gentrification corridor have become accustomed to competing for parking with cranes, dumpsters, and other pieces of heavy machinery. So when a small gray Craftsman LT 2000 lawn tractor appeared near 14th and Q Streets NW over Memorial Day weekend, residents just assumed it belonged to the construction site on the corner. But D.C. police Officer April Manley thought the neatly parked tractor looked suspicious and called it in. Sure enough, the tractor had been stolen from the nearby Hotel Helix. Helix housekeeping supervisor Lionel McNair suspects a joy-rider, because a professional criminal would likely have sold the tractor for a nice chunk of change. (Newer models retail for over $1,000 at Sears.) But with a 2-gallon gas tank and a top speed of about 5 mph, the Craftsman won’t keep up in the bike lane. Perhaps that’s why, McNair observes, “they didn’t get but two blocks” before abandoning it.

—Stephanie Mencimer