Trio Robs Deaf Man Using Sign Language
Sunday, February 26, 2006
D.C. police are seeking three men who used sign language to rob a deaf man of his wallet in Northeast Washington, and investigators say the crime could be connected to two other recent thefts at nearby Gallaudet University.
The robbery occurred about 8:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in the 600 block of Florida Avenue NE when three men approached a man, 23, in his back yard. The assailants used sign language to demand money that they said the man owed them, police said.
The man, a Gallaudet student, refused to turn over any money, police said. The robbers then took his wallet, which contained cash, credit cards and an identification card, police said.
The victim told investigators that he did not know the thieves, who are believed to live in the area, police said.
The robbery, which was first reported by WRC (Channel 4) on Friday night, might be connected to two muggings of students on the campus of Gallaudet, a liberal arts university tailored for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, police said.
On Jan. 26, a man ran up behind a 23-year-old woman on campus, on Florida Avenue NE, snatched an electronic e-mail device from the woman's hip and ran away, police said.
Police said a similar robbery of another 23-year-old woman occurred Feb. 7.
Members of the police department's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Liaison Unit are working with Gallaudet officials and investigators to solve the crimes.
Authorities urge anyone with information to call detectives at 202-727-9099 or to alert Crime Solvers, which offers $1,000 rewards for information in such cases, at 800-673-2777.