D.C. police arrest teenage burglary suspect in Northeast after call from witness

One month ago, someone kicked down the door to an apartment on Evarts Street in Northeast Washington and stole jewelry­ and shoes. On Tuesday, a burglar broke into the same apartment and took a wallet.

But this time, D.C. police said, officers quickly arrested a suspect, a teenager spotted crouching in a nearby alley with a 20-inch-long screwdriver lying near him.

The two break-ins are among a spate of burglaries in the Edgewood neighborhood that has prompted extra vigilance by residents and police. Cmdr. Deirdre Porter, who heads the 5th Police District station, said one worried neighbor called her Tuesday morning about the break-ins on Evarts Street.

In a note to the community, Porter said that she ordered an increase in patrols and “not 10 minutes later,” a resident called 911 about a burglary in progress. “Officers were on the scene within seconds and were able to make an apprehension,” Porter said in her note, posted on the department’s Internet bulletin board.

Police charged a 17-year-old as a juvenile with burglary and said they are investigating whether he or people he knows are linked to other break-ins in Edgewood. Burglaries in the police patrol area that includes the neighborhood off Rhode Island Avenue NE have increased from 34 at this time in 2013 to 47 this year.

“The first time was scary,” said the 23-year-old whose apartment was broken into twice in two months. “At this point, after it’s happened twice, we don’t know whether this is retaliation. But it’s happening a lot in the Edgewood community.”

The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because some burglars may still be on the streets, said someone broke in the first time by kicking in her door. On Tuesday, she said, a burglar pried off the sill around a window air conditioner.

A D.C. police report said that officers responding to Tuesday’s call about 11 a.m. quickly surrounded the rowhouse — which is divided into four apartments — and confronted a youth in a gray shirt and blue jeans crouching in an alley between two houses. The report said that a black wallet and the heavy-duty screwdriver were found next to him.

A witness told police that he saw that a rear window of the house had been pried open and that he had “video footage of the same suspect breaking into the same residence in the same location,” according to the report.

The woman whose apartment was broken into said the burglaries on her street tend to occur on Tuesdays. She said she has not gotten her jewelry and shoes back from the June break-in but has recovered her wallet, which she said contained no money but was filled with important receipts.

Porter, in her note to the community, thanked the “watchful citizen” along with her officers. “Today’s apprehension was clearly a ‘case study’ for successful community and police collaboration.”

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