Two men robbed a District motor vehicle inspection station yesterday morning of 62 green-and-black validation stickers, which may be worth more than $100 each if sold on the street to persons whose cars and trucks cannot pass inspection.
But 50 red rejection stickers the robbers took from the station at 1827 West Virginia Ave. NE probably have no value, D.C. police said. Those stickers allow D.C. motorists whose vehicles fail inspection 10 days to have them brought up to standards, but they must be validated with a special stamp to be effective, police said.
The incident occurred about 8:20 a.m. when the two men, one armed with a gun, approached an inspection booth operated by Leslie Harris, 26, police said.
They said the man with the gun told Harris to give him all the stickers in that booth, and Harris complied. As another inspector called out for someone to call the police, the fleeing gunman fired several shots at Harris, but none struck him.
Although there have been thefts of several stickers at a time in the past, this is the first armed robbery of an city inspection station, said John Thompson, director of the District's motor vehicle department.
District vehicle owners pay a $5 inspection fee with the registration fee. The fine for not having a valid inspection sticker is $10.