A D.C. officer was arrested yesterday for allegedly working in tandem with prostitutes who lured their customers to him so he could rob them at gunpoint, police said.
Warren L. Pindell, 33, a nine-year veteran, was charged with two counts of armed robbery after 4th District detectives followed up on a report from a prostitute's customer who said a uniformed officer held him up and took his cash, Executive Assistant Chief Terrance W. Gainer said.
In early December, another man had sheepishly reported that while he was with a prostitute at Ninth and Varnum streets NW, an officer declared a stick-up and took more than $100 from him, Gainer said.
Detectives followed that lead, speculating that the bandit might be a police impostor, he said.
But when a second man came in Monday with a nearly identical story, 4th District detectives set to work and the Office of Professional Responsibility investigated. By 2 p.m. yesterday, Pindell was arrested, Gainer said.
Pindell was off-duty but was still in uniform during the hold-ups, Gainer said.
Detectives tracked down and worked with the two prostitutes Pindell allegedly teamed with in the two cases. Both cooperated in the investigation and will not be charged, he said.
Pindell was suspended from the force immediately.
The robbery victims likely seemed easy targets because they were with prostitutes, Gainer said.
But at least two men reported what happened to them, and detectives believe that, especially because of the time frame, there may more robbery victims.
"Officer Pindell didn't do our badge any good; he didn't do our oath any good," Gainer said.
Victims are asked to call 4th District detectives at 576-6726.
Pindell's arrest is the most recent incident to bring attention to the 4th District. Former commander Melvin Scott was demoted to captain last month after he failed to deliver a status report on an investigation into money missing from a station safe that had been left open.