DC mayor deletes preventing auto theft tweet after igniting outrage

DC mayor deletes preventing auto theft tweet after igniting outrage

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Sunday deleted a tweet on ways to “reduce” the risk of carjackings after it provoked outrage online for making no mention of an armed carjacking earlier in the week that resulted in the death of an Uber Eats delivery driver.

The post was a retweet from the D.C. Metro police that offered ways on reducing the chances of getting your vehicle stolen.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, testifies at the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, on D.C. statehood, Monday, March 22, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, testifies at the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, on D.C. statehood, Monday, March 22, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (Caroline Brehman/Pool via CQ Roll Call)

“Auto theft is a crime of opportunity,” Bowser wrote. “Follow these steps to reduce the risk of your vehicle becoming a target. Remember the motto, #ProtectYourAuto.”

A screengrab of a now-deleted tweet by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (Twitter)

A screengrab of a now-deleted tweet by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (Twitter)

The post came less than a week after two armed carjackings in the city. On Tuesday, two teenage girls were charged in the carjacking death of a 66-year-old Uber Eats delivery driver. Just two days later, two teen boys were arrested in another armed carjacking.

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Bowser was slammed for what some regarded as her “tone-deaf” and poorly timed tweet, which made no mention of either of the carjackings.

“Horrible timing on this clearly scheduled tweet,” journalist Natalia Antonova wrote on Twitter. “And even if Mohammed Anwar wasn’t dead, carjackings are a plague in DC – there isn’t a lot you can do wrt risk reduction besides simply not driving a car.”

In a statement provided to Fox News, Bowser’s Office of Communications said the tweet was part of an effort to raise awareness about a troubling increase in carjackings and the “risk” they pose to the lives of innocent individuals.

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“Today’s prescheduled social media post was part of that effort and should not detract from the tragic death of Mohammad Anwar,” Bowser’s office said. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family and the families of those we have lost to violence.” 

Fox News is waiting for a response from the mayor’s office on why she deleted the tweet. 

Police statistics shared with Fox News show that carjackings in D.C. have been on the rise over the last couple of years. Between Jan. 1, 2021, and March 23, 2021, there were 95 carjackings citywide — up from 21 in total from the same time period last year. And 2020 saw a 143% increase in carjackings from 2019, according to the statistics. 

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Fox News has made multiple attempts to contact Bowser’s officer for a response but has received no reply.  

Fox News’ Evie Fordham contributed to this report.