Fire escape burglaries on the rise in D.C.

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - You hear about it, but you don't expect it to happen to you – especially when you are home.

This 31-year-old lawyer -- who does not wish to be identified -- and her roommate were home at their Capitol Hill apartment on 9th Street on Friday evening, when they suddenly heard footsteps that sounded just a little too close for comfort.

That’s when they realized they were not alone.

There was an intruder who ran out a bedroom window, and when one of the roommates got up and looked out of her window, he was running down the fire escape – with a purse, credit cards, and cash.

It turns out that this escape route was precisely the way police believe he got there in the first place.

"The fire escape is just supposed to be there for an it is pretty scary people are using them to get in," one roommate said.

Neighbor Monica Noce describes the acrobatics required to get to the fire escape next door in the first place: the suspect has to jump over the garage, climb around, and then get into the small alley behind the building.

But this wasn’t the only rowhouse apartment building hit this weekend.

Just three blocks over, police say a 23-year-old woman’s third floor apartment on 6th Street was burglarized as well. The entry point was a window that opened up onto the fire escape.

Police are urging residents no matter what floor they live on, with or without fire escapes, to lock all of their windows.