From Tenleytown to Cleveland Park, three 15-year-old boys worked their way through the Connecticut Avenue corridor snatching cellphones and, in one instance, stealing candy from a pharmacy, police said.
Authorities said the teens stole two phones in four attempts Tuesday.
Police arrested two youths on Wednesday and charged them each with four counts of robbery or attempted robbery and one count of theft. Their names were not made public because the teens are in the juvenile system. The third youth is being sought.
The first incident took place about 5 p.m. A woman told D.C. police that three youths grabbed her from behind and that one took her $1,000 gold iPhone X as she walked in the 3800 block of Gramercy Street NW, near Fort Reno Park.
The 40-year-old woman said she had passed by the teens just before she was attacked.
They were wearing khaki pants and backpacks. Their faces were partially covered, but the woman said it was cold enough for her to be wearing a hat and gloves.
The smallest of the teens told her, “Good afternoon, ma’am. How are you doing today?” A moment later, the woman said, the same teen jumped her from behind. “I was screaming my face off at them,” the woman said. “I was furious.”
The youth let go of the phone and the three ran. The woman called police and chased after them but lost them in the park. “I feel very comfortable walking through my neighborhood,” the woman said. “This makes me really sad. I don’t know what was going through their heads.”
Thirty minutes later, the youths were in the 4000 block of Brandywine Street NW, near the Tenleytown-American University Metro Station, where one allegedly approached a woman sitting on some steps.
A police report says the woman had her iPhone 7 Plus next to her while she was listening to music through ear buds. Police said one of the youths grabbed the phone, ripping the buds from her ears.
Ten minutes later, the same group went into a CVS pharmacy on Connecticut Avenue and stole 18 packages of Haribo Gummy Bears, police said.
About 6 p.m., the group tried to rob a woman outside the Cleveland Park Metro Station, police said. The woman told police that the boys tried to take her purse. Police said one of them took her iPhone from her jacket pocket but then dropped it when she screamed.
A few minutes later, the group targeted another woman, stealing her iPhone X in the 3600 block of Connecticut Avenue NW, police said.