D.C. police dogs sniffed out a man yesterday morning who allegedly snatched a woman's purse at gunpoint and then holed up for nearly two hours in an abandoned warehouse.
According to police, a man with a gun approached Tracy A. Robinson, 21, in the 1300 block of V St. NW about 9 a.m. and took her purse.
He then fled into an alley that separates Harrison Elementary School from a row of houses.
Robinson saw the man enter a vacant warehouse in the alley and then hailed a passing police police officer.
Dozens of officers and the department's heavily armed Emergency Response Team swarmed over the area, calling on the man through bullhorns to surrender.
When he did not respond, two canine units entered the building and found the alleged robber and a second man hiding beneath a staircase in the first floor of 2119 14th St. NW, shortly before 11 a.m.
After Robinson identified him as the man who took her purse, police arrested Marcus Antonio Franklin, 34, of 1464 Harvard St. NW, and charged him with armed robbery.
Also arrested and charged with unlawful entry was Randy C. Hughes, 37, of 49 Girard St. NW.
Both men suffered dog bites on their arms and legs, police said, adding that they did not recover a gun. Robinson was not injured and no shots were fired.
Police cordoned off the 1300 block of V Street NW and diverted traffic from 13th and 14th streets to Florida Avenue and U Street, adding to delays already caused by construction in the area and compounding motorists' headaches.
Police moved teachers preparing for classes next week at Harrison Elementary School from the east side of the building, which faces the alley and warehouse, to the west side, where they continued their meeting, according to school Principal John B. Sparrow.
"From what the police officers told us, it would be more dangerous to leave the building," Sparrow said. "We just kept cool and moved the meeting to the other side of the building."
Residents of the 1300 block of V St. NW, who gathered on their front porches to watch the morning's events, questioned why police came out in such force for a purse snatching in a neighborhood plagued by drug dealers and users and where theft is routine.
Staff writer Patrice Gaines-Carter contributed to this report.