Liquor store in Mount Vernon robbed twice

August 23, 2013

A man with a gun robbed a liquor store Thursday night in the District’s Mount Vernon Square neighborhood. Police said the same man may have returned and robbed the store again Friday morning.

Each time, police said, a masked robber put a gun to the clerk’s head and took money and alcohol. The first robbery occurred about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. The second happened about 10:25 a.m. Friday.

The robberies occurred at Kiflu’s Wine & Spirits in the 1200 block of Fifth Street NW, at M St., in a residential neighborhood three blocks from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and near several churches. The store formerly was called Good Libations; a sign outside advertises craft beer.

The store was closed Friday afternoon. D.C. police detectives were still inside questioning a clerk about 2 p.m. Subsequent phone calls went unanswered. A police spokesman did not know whether the same clerk was robbed twice.

Robberies have been a sticking point in the District’s crime statistics, remaining stubbornly high. Armed robberies in an area of about 30 square blocks around the liquor store have remained steady, with 10 reported through Aug. 21, not including the two latest holdups at Kiflu’s, compared with 13 by the same time last year.

The descriptions given of the robber after each of the two incidents were slightly different but not necessarily contradictory.

The robber in Thursday’s holdup was described as a male wearing a dark ski mask, 16 to 23 years old and standing 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall. He is thought to weigh between 130 and 150 pounds, and he wore a gray shirt with red stripes and black-and-white tennis shoes.

Police said the clerk described the man in Friday’s robbery as having a slim build, a dark ski mask, a backpack and dark pants.

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