About 1,100 unarmed robberies have been reported so far this year in the District, but three that occurred Saturday had so much in common as to stand out for that reason alone.
Each occurred at a fairly prominent spot in the District. The way items were taken also resembled each other.
And the means used to get away were about the same: bicycles and a scooter.
With the increased availability of shared bicycles and shared scooters, an increasing number of anecdotal accounts of crimes seem to include such vehicles in their description of events.
In what appeared to be one of the latest of the three, a teenager on a bicycle snatched property at Florida and West Virginia Avenues NE, a crossroads near Gallaudet University, police said. They said the teenage robber wore a black hooded sweatshirt and was riding “a dark bicycle.”
Around that time police said, a victim was seated outdoors in the 1000 block of H Street NE, in the prominent entertainment corridor, around 7 p.m. when someone came along and “snatched his iPhone from his hand,” the police said.
Then police said, the robber rode off “on a Capital Bikeshare bike.” Police said the robber appeared to be from 18 to 24, black and male. He wore a dark gray hoodie or jersey, the police said.
The first of the Saturday snatch robberies occurred at about 5 p.m. in the 1300 block of East Capitol Street NE, at the eastern edge of Capitol Hill.
In that robbery, the victim, described as a juvenile, was walking with his mother. He, too, held his phone in his hand, police said. It, too, was snatched away, according to a police account.
In that incident, police said, they were looking for five black male youths, one on a scooter and the others on bicycles. Police said they were described as from 13 to 15 years old. The youth on the scooter wore a camouflage hoodie, police said. They said the others wore colorful hoodies.