FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 6, 2012
For Information Contact:
District Man Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
Following Latest Conviction for Thefts from Cars Near Capitol Hill
- Crimes Disrupted Neighborhood Life -
WASHINGTON - David Vines, 48, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to four years in prison for contempt of court and for the latest in his series of thefts from cars in neighborhoods around Capitol Hill, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Vines earlier pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to contempt and second-degree theft. He was sentenced by the Honorable Ronna L. Beck, who told him that, “Our community needs to be protected from you.” Upon completion of his prison term, Vines will be placed on five years of supervised release.
According to the government’s evidence, Vines for years has targeted the area around Capitol Hill, repeatedly opening unlocked car doors and then stealing whatever he could get, sometimes CDs, cash or small change. Over the years, he accumulated eight convictions for theft or attempted theft, one for receiving stolen property, and two for tampering with an automobile.
In hopes of combating such thefts, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) increased patrols in the First Police District. These increased patrols, and the increased reporting by fed-up citizens, led directly to the arrest of Vines in the cases that led to today’s sentencing.
On Nov. 2, 2011, Vines was free while awaiting trial in another theft case. Under terms of his release, he was to abide by a court-ordered curfew of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. At 4 a.m., a civilian called 911 after seeing Vines pulling on door handles of unoccupied cars parked in the 100 block of 12th Street SE, and police subsequently arrested him.
Vines pled guilty to the contempt charge on Nov. 28, 2011 and was placed in a halfway house. The very next morning, a day that he was once again due in court, he was caught by police after breaking into a car in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE and stealing about $12 in bills and change, plus Metro tokens.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department, including Commander Daniel Hickson, Lt. Michael Thornton, Lt. Christopher Micciche, and the patrol officers of the First District, especially Phillippe Jerome, Joshua Martinez, Michael Touart, Jeff Kopp and James Weaver. He also thanked those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Information Technology Specialist Tracy Van Atta and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Bednar, who prosecuted the matter.