D.C. man arrested in armed robberies said to have used a paintball gun

September 24, 2013

Authorities have arrested a suspect in connection with four armed robberies in the District and two in Prince George’s County that were carried out with a paintball gun and targeted carry-out stores, a pharmacy and a post office branch, according to D.C. police.

Police said they got a break after the latest robbery, which occurred Sept. 17 at a Dollar Store in Prince George’s. A witness wrote down the license plate number of a white Lexus leaving the area, which led police to a house in Northwest Washington and to the suspect.

James Esau Davis, 55, of Northeast was arrested Monday and has been charged with armed robbery in the District. Authorities said additional charges are pending in Maryland. A D.C. Superior Court judge ordered him detained until a preliminary hearing, scheduled for Friday.

In addition, D.C. police said, a second man was arrested on a gun charge during the search of the house in Northwest. That man has not been charged in the holdups, but police said they are still investigating him as a possible suspect.

The case was handled by D.C. and Prince George’s police and U.S. postal inspectors. “The close cooperation between federal and local law enforcement, as happened here, closes a violent spree of armed robberies,” said Officer Araz Alali, a D.C. police spokesman.

D.C. police said the robberies began Aug. 6 at the New Hampshire Pharmacy in the 5000 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW. Two days later, police said, a post office in Hyattsville was robbed. Prince George’s police issued an alert saying that a man armed with a gun fled in a silver Lexus.

On Aug. 9, police said, robbers targeted the Newton Food Mart in the 3600 block of 12th St. NE, in the Brookland neighborhood. Days later, on Aug. 13, police said, the Upshur Grocery in the 200 block of Upshur Street NW was targeted, followed by a robbery Sept. 16 at Flagler Market, in the 2200 block of Flagler Place NW, in Bloomingdale.

Police said in court documents that in the early holdups, video surveillance footage appeared to show that the weapon was a black rifle or shotgun. But later, police said it resembled a paintball gun. Police said they seized a paint gun, a .25 caliber handgun and ammunition from the house they searched.

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