Rider robbed on Metrobus

February 20, 2013
armed robbery
Photo of armed robbery suspect. (Released by Metro)

On the same day that Metro had planned to put more of its transit police officers on buses during the afternoon commute to show an increased police presence, a woman was robbed when a man with a gun in his waistband demanded her purse on a bus in Southeast Washington.

The incident occurred at 8:54 a.m. Wednesday, when a man dressed in a black jacket and hoodie got on a W6 bus near the intersection of Stanton and Elvans roads SE. He walked up to a female passenger who was sitting on the bus and “revealed the handle of a gun in his waistband and demanded her purse,” according to Dan Stessel, a spokesman for Metro.

The alleged robber then ran off the bus.

When asked, “Did he pay his fare?”

Stessel said, “I don’t have any reason to believe he didn’t.”

Metro released a photo of the alleged robber and has plans to pass out fliers showing the picture this afternoon on buses in Southeast.

Metro has done some more of its HITEs — High Intensity Target Enforcement — efforts where it puts more transit officers on board buses. Officers remind customers to protect their electronic devices and give other safety tips.

Wednesday, there will be a mix of uniformed and plainclothes transit police officers riding bus routes, including the A, W and B lines, where there have been more incidents recently of bus drivers being attacked or spit on by riders.

Bus drivers and their union representatives have said they didn’t feel that Metro Transit police were doing enough to address their concerns. Metro said the increased police presence had been planned for weeks in a joint effort with the Metropolitan Police Department and is not a direct response to Wednesday morning’s armed robbery.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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Dana Hedgpeth | February 20, 2013