“If you ever have seen broken car glass in your hoods, Mr. Gregory Teal is more than likely the person that committed the crime.”
That’s what MPD’s Second District Commander Michael Reese wrote in an email to Dupont Circle residents this July. Teal had just been arrested for the 43rd time for “theft from auto.”
Typically Teal’s crimes are sentenced as misdemeanors—he was imprisoned for 75 days for a TFA in March. But this time, Dupont residents want Teal put away for much longer. Kishan Putta and Noah Smith, ANC 2B’s public safety liaisons, are organizing a campaign to submit public impact statements to the U.S Attorney’s office in advance of Teal’s sentencing on Oct. 28.
“We want the courts to take it seriously this time,” Putta says. “This individual won’t be deterred by small punishments, and it’s pretty clear that letting him on the streets means that he will victimize our community.”
Whether a harsher sentence will be a deterrent to Teal or will simply serve as a way of keeping him off the streets, “Either argument points to keeping him in jail for the serial, unmitigated nature of his crime spree,” Putta says.
According to Putta, residents are enthusiastic about the campaign, though no impact statements have been filed yet. With 301 incidents reported since Jan. 1, car break-ins are the second most prevalent crime in ANC 2B after normal theft. That’s actually an improvement from last year, when 400 TFAs were reported in the same period, but Putta says it’s still too high.
“Things like this do deter lower income people from living here, just because you can’t afford to pay for off street parking,” he says.
Image via Kafziel