Yeah, the area around Gallaudet was pretty bad even up to about 8 years ago. It's a lot better now due to gentrification, but still rough in some areas.Coming from person that's from NYC I honestly love it here and would never move elsewhere. i visited DC once in 2006 and got my car broken into twice so that city left a bad taste in my mouth and the museums weren't my thing. Don't know if anything improved or not but all this breaking in happened in the area of the deaf university .
There are still car break-ins, but they aren't as common as they used to be. The biggest problem with crime is teens and 20-something's getting into beefs with one another and deciding the way to solve it is with a gun. Less than two weeks ago, that happened right in front of a Safeway grocery store that is a 90-second walk from my apartment and a 21-year old ended up dead.
edit: more info