When the getaway car is a bike

As the value of bicycles in commuting and running errands draws increasing attention in Washington, it appears they are also being put to use in crime.

In recent weeks, a number of robberies on city streets have been reported in which thieves approach and flee on two wheels. A robbery reported Sunday was only the latest.

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The incident, which police described as a robbery by force and violence, occurred about 4 a.m. in the unit block of New York Avenue NE. At least one robber in a group of four or five was said to have headed away on a bike.

Earlier this year, bikes were used in two notable incidents. In one, a man on a bicycle committed a sexual assault in the Dupont Circle area. In the other, a man on a city Bikeshare bike struck a pedestrian in the face and pedaled off with her iPhone.

Other incidents in which bikes were used in crimes attracted less attention, but they seem to occur with some regularity.

On July 21, police were told of a robbery at 6th and H streets NE in which the robber rode a gray bicycle. The day before, two robbers grabbed property in the 1200 block of Mount Olivet Road NE. One was on a bike.

On July 16, police said, a man with a gun in his waistband tried to carry out a robbery at 5th and I streets SW. He was on a blue mountain bike.

On July 3, in the Mount Pleasant area, a robber rode a bike away from the scene of the crime on Lamont and Mount Pleasant streets NW.

 
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