Thursday night, D.C. police pursued a car into Maryland and arrested five people who authorities say are linked to a string of armed robberies, including several that occurred Wednesday on Capitol Hill and in the Navy Yard area.
The suspects were being charged in Prince George’s County and are expected to be extradited to the District. Their names were not available as of Saturday.
Police said that they recovered a gun from the vehicle and that the arrests were made after a “lengthy vehicle and foot pursuit.” Police said they found a second gun near some of Wednesday's robberies in the District.
“We believe these subjects to be responsible for multiple robberies in the city to include several in the First District area,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said in a message posted on the department’s Internet bulletin board. A spokesman said Lanier was referring to several of the robberies on Capitol Hill.
The robberies on Capitol Hill and near the Navy Yard occurred within 40 minutes of one another Wednesday night, between 8:50 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
All the victims reported seeing a handgun — three of them described it as black — though descriptions of the attackers were not detailed. Most of the attacks involved two or three young men or teens. All the victims were approached from behind.
The robberies were in areas covered by the police department’s First District, which includes neighborhoods along the H Street corridor, Eastern Market, Capitol Hill, the waterfront and up to Union Station. Unarmed robberies in the First District have surged from 229 at this time last year to 280 so far this year, according to police statistics. Armed robberies have jumped from 86 to 110 over that same time period.
Police said the first robbery occurred at Ninth and F streets NE, near the H Street corridor. Police said a man came up behind a victim and asked, “You know what time it is?” while two others ran up from across the street.
One of the victims said Friday that she and her boyfriend were robbed in the attack and that one robber pointed a gun at her. She said the couple was walking from a friend’s house and noticed suspicious young men wearing hoodies, one of whom had his face covered. The woman gave her account on the condition she not be named.
She said the person with the covered face threatened her with a gun while two others came from across the street and boxed in the couple. Two robbed her boyfriend, and the other turned to her. “I took off my purse and gave it to him,” the woman said. “They were asking, what about your phone. I said it’s in there,” referring to the purse.
The next robbery happened farther south, at Third and G streets SE, near Garfield Park adjacent to Interstate 695. Police said a woman was talking on a cellphone when a man came up behind her and told her to be quiet. Police said she dropped her purse and iPhone and the man picked them up and ran away. The woman said she saw the man who approached her holding a gun and that he was with two others, between 15 and 19 years old. She had no other description other than one was possibly wearing a gray jacket.
Police were then called to the 1300 block of E Street SE, near Pennsylvania Avenue between the Eastern Market and Potomac Avenue Metro stations. Police said the victim was talking on a cellphone when approached from behind and pushed to the ground. Police said one of the three men involved was holding a black handgun and took an iPhone and a purse. This victim reported that all three men were wearing ski masks.
The final two victims reported being robbed about 16 blocks from Eastern Market, near the Washington Navy Yard. Police said two men pushed a victim in the 100 block of L Street SE. One man pointed a black handgun at the victim, police said, and ordered, “Take out what you have.” Police said they took an iPhone and credit cards. Both men were wearing red puffy jackets, the victim told police.
One block away, a person told police that one man wearing a blue jacket and black ski mask pointed a gun from behind and said, “Give me what you got,” and ran away with items.