A scary night ended with four assailants arrested by MPD and two residents robbed but safe. (Early reports said six assailants involved and arrested, but MPD says four people were arrested at the Circle.) Here's what happened:
Around 9:30pm on February 2nd, MPD got a call for an armed robbery on the 4200 block of New Hampshire Avenue. The lookout was for 4-6 assailants wearing ski masks and dark clothing, with one suspect reportedly armed with a handgun.
While MPD was responding to the call on New Hampshire Avenue, the suspects in the first robbery robbed another man along the 500 block of Varnum Street NW.
According to readers who contacted me and listserv emails, the alleged assailants were seen along Varnum and 9th and Webster hanging out as a group. From a MPD-4D listserv email:
At about 8:45 tonight, I and my friend were standing on my front porch when she noticed a group of about 5 youths at the corner of 9th and Webster. She said they looked like they were about to do something to an oblivious man (possibly wearing headphones) walking north on 9th. When I turned to look at them, they indeed appeared to be "hooding up" (all wearing black hoodies), and they changed their direction as to follow the man. We made our presence known by then conversing loudly and when they noticed us they halted and went the other way, east on Webster toward Kansas. It was all very suspicious looking and my friend did immediately put a call into the police.
According to MPD, as officers were canvassing for the victim of the first robbery, they observed four suspects wearing all dark clothing and ski masks running eastbound on the 500 block of Varnum Street. When officers attempted to stop the suspects, they continued running into the west alley of Grant Circle off of Varnum. The officers pursued the suspects on foot and apprehended all four suspects. Prior to being caught, MPD saw the suspects remove their ski masks and throwing them to the ground, as well as discarding the victim’s property.
MPD found a black BB pistol, a knife, ski masks and property belonging to the victims of both robberies. Four juvenile males were arrested and charged with Armed Robbery. Thankfully, the first robbery victim was uninjured, while the second had a minor abrasion on his forehead but was reportedly alright.
Big kudos to MPD for their swift response that resulted in the capture of the assailants.