About 1 a.m. one day last week, a Northeast Washington resident heard the scrape of a garbage can being dragged down an alley, went to a window and spotted what apparently was part of a small-scale crime wave.

The resident saw the can being pulled down the alley with a flat-screen television set in it. There had been a burglary in the same block of First Street, the 1900 block, the week before. Neighbors were concerned, and police were called.

As it turned out, the burglary on First Street was one of five carried out in about 13 hours within a few square miles of Northeast Washington on Friday, D.C. police said. All of them occurred between 1 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.

Police said an officer spotted an automobile that he thought was connected to the burglaries. The vehicle was seen about two miles from the scene of the crimes, and police apparently had information that aroused the suspicion of the officer, who was identified as Michael Littlejohn.

Littlejohn tried to stop the car, police said, but the driver fled. Littlejohn managed to seize someone who had been a passenger in the car, police said.

Police said the car held items that they thought were taken during the burglaries. They said a 17-year-old was charged in connection with at least one of them. His name was not immediately available.

In addition to First Street, police said the Friday burglaries occurred in the 1200 block of Oates Street, the 200 and 300 blocks of Douglas Street and the 1200 block of Kearney Street.