They were strangely kind, in a way. Considering they were poking a gun in A.J. Drobnick's face.
Drobnick and his wife, Sasha, were strolling home from a Sunday night dinner on Sept. 12 in Georgetown when two men came up behind them, showed what looked like a gun and asked for money. They also asked for Sasha Drobnick's backpack.
"I said I was robbed recently and that my passport was my only ID," Sasha Drobnick said. "One of the guys said, 'Give it back to her.' And then he said, 'Sorry, sweetheart. We have to do this. You are living the good life.' "
Sasha Drobnick, who lives at 30th and 0 streets NW, thought it was a fascinating insight.
"On one level, yes, we are living the good life," she said. "But does that justify me standing here [watching someone] with a gun to my husband's head?"
Second District police arrested three men in September, and police say two of them are suspects in the Drobnicks' robbery.
The men are also suspects in a string of other robberies or attempted robberies, as well as in cases in other 2nd District neighborhoods, which include Burleith, Georgetown and parts of Glover Park, said 2nd District Cmdr. Shannon Cockett.
Arrested on Sept. 15 were: Richard Williams, 18, of the 1300 block of Seventh Street NW, and Kevin Williams, 17, of the 1000 block of McCollough Street NW, both charged in connection with a robbery in the 3200 block of Cathedral Avenue NW; and Vincent Purevis, 18, of the 600 block of Princeton Place NW, charged with an attempted robbery in the 3700 block of Legation Street NW. Master Patrol Officer Roberto Corchado got the three on a traffic stop.
"He remembered to look out for the vehicle from a description of a robbery the previous day," Cockett said.
After the arrests, the number of robberies in the 2nd District decreased from 26 in September to 14 in October, a fall of 46 percent, Cockett said.
The string of robberies came as a surprise to many in the leafy Northwest communities. But police said the crimes occur periodically in affluent neighborhoods. They often come in spurts, until the suspects are caught or are scared away by police or neighborhood watchdog groups.
"What we find is that suspects come to an area where they believe that people have things for them to steal," Cockett said. "That's going to be a constant problem for us to combat. But I think we have gotten a good handle on these robberies."
Neighborhood activists lauded the arrests. In a city of unsolved slayings and rapes, attention to smaller crimes is still an important part of police work, they said.
"Our police are splendid in small matters as in large," said Guy Gwynne, of the Burleith Citizens Association. "It is excellent that they made these arrests."