Robbers take cell phones from store on Benning Road NE, and carry out their loot in a trash receptacle. (Metropolitan Police photo)

Two smartphone stores in the District have been robbed in three days, with similarities in tactics and techniques used by the robbers. These included the use of trash receptacles found at the scene to make off with the haul.

In addition to the robbery Sunday in the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, another phone store was held up Friday in the 1500 block of Benning Road NE, according to information released on Tuesday by the D.C. police.

In both holdups, two robbers took part. In the Pennsylvania Avenue robbery, phones were loaded into a polyethylene bag, then a paper carton, then a wheeled trash receptacle.

But two days before Sunday's robbery, a trash receptacle again played a central role. The robbers brought a cylindrical shaped barrel up to the doors of a safe. Then they slid armfuls of phones out of the safe, and into the barrel.

When it appeared filled to the brim, each of the two took one of the handles. With the barrel between them, they walked out the door.

The two entered a vehicle and drove away.

Two days later, the robbers also made their getaway, with the loot in a trash receptacle. But the vehicle appeared different.