Police arrested a Washington man yesterday who had been named in warrants involving two armed robberies in the Dupont Circle area. Officials said the arrest was made as part of an investigation of a series of armed robberies in the Dupont Circle neighborhood during the last three months.
Acting on information from D.C. police, members of the Prince George's County force arrested Vernon Eugene Witcher, 25, at a house in the 6400 block of Hillmar Drive, Forestville, according to D.C. police Lt. James Boteler. Boteler headed the investigation by the D.C. police robbery squad into the outbreak of robberies.
Prince George's officials are holding Witcher without bond on the two warrants that accuse him of armed robbery, as well as one warrant alleging sodomy and a fourth naming the suspect as a halfway-house escapee, Boteler said. Officials said they would seek to extradite him to the District today.
Dupont Circle residents have expressed anger and concern about a series of 35 armed robberies in a 16-square-block area northeast of Dupont Circle since Dec. 1. Residents flocked to noisy meetings with police officials to question them about progress in the investigation.
The first robbery in the outbreak occurred Dec. 1, police said, and the most recent was reported Tuesday night. The robberies occurred at widely differing times--from early in the morning to late at night--and the bandit in several cases was described as wearing the same kind of blue jacket. Police have said for months that they believed one man was responsible for the robberies.
Witcher's last known address was on 50th Street NE before his conviction of a charge of assault with a gun and his commitment to a halfway house, Boteler said.
Detectives in the 3rd police district and the robbery squad obtained a warrant for Witcher's arrest three weeks ago after victims in two of the robberies viewed photographs of several suspects that police showed them, officers said.
Police officials also got a warrant for Witcher's arrest on a charge of sodomy in an assault on a woman in her apartment on 16th Street NW two weeks ago, Boteler said. D.C. police also obtained a warrant for breaking out of prison in connection with Witcher's escape from a halfway house in the District last November.