Crime spree? String of armed robberies leaves one in the hospital

A spree of armed robberies from around the area.

by Yuliya Panfil

A string of six armed robberies over the last two days – four of them taking place in or near Petworth - have left one man in the hospital and at least seven victims lighter in the pockets. Three of the robberies took place Thursday morning and three took place early this morning. One of the robberies reportedly took place at knife point, and two of the robberies took place at gunpoint.  
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) says it is investigating to determine whether the robberies are related. The suspect described in each of the six cases was a black male wearing a similar outfit: in five of the cases, the suspect was wearing all black clothing and a ski mask, and in the sixth case the suspect was wearing a white sweatshirt and a ski mask.
In five of the six cases, the robber was seen getting into a light colored SUV after the assault. Police have determined that the vehicle used in at least two of the three robberies this morning was a silver Honda Pilot bearing a DC license tag of FK0181. Police said they briefly observed the Honda Pilot at 4:50am this morning and gave chase, but the vehicle was able to get away.
No arrests have been made yet, said MPD Fourth District Commander Will Manlapaz.

Update: A 7th armed robbery occurred on Friday, January 12th.

Thursday Morning Robberies 
The first three robberies took place early Thursday morning, moving South down a two-mile stretch 13th Street Northwest between Tewkesbury Place in Brightwood.
The first robbery took place at around 6am on the 1300 block of Tewkesbury Place, in Brightwood. According to MPD, the victim was approached by two suspects. One of the suspects displayed a knife and punched the victim several times. This same suspect went through the victim’s pockets. The second suspect stood by and watched. Both suspects were described as black males wearing all black clothing and ski masks covering their faces. The suspects got into a light colored SUV and fled south on 13th Street, NW. The victim was not seriously injured during the assault.
The second robbery took place a 6:09am, on the 1300 block of Kennedy Street NW, approximately a mile south and was more violent. According to MPD, the victim was approached by the suspect, who displayed a knife. The victim ran but was assaulted by the suspect. The victim fell to the ground and fell unconscious for several minutes and then regained consciousness and called 911. The suspect took the victim’s wallet and fled the scene. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he is being treated for his injuries. MPD was not able to provide an update on whether the victim is still in the hospital, or was discharged.
The third robbery took place around 6:25am, in the 1300 block of Quincy Street NW, another mile due south. According to MPD, the victim was  approached by the suspect who displayed a gun and took the victim’s property.  The victim described the suspect as a short black male wearing all black clothing and a black ski mask covering his face. The suspect got into a light colored SUV and fled the scene. The victim was not injured during this offense.

Saturday Morning Robberies
Then, early in the morning of January 13th, MPD reported a string of three similar robberies, with the first taking place near Mount Pleasant, the second near Shepherd Park, the third in the Palisades.
According to MPD, at approximately 2:35 am, police received a 911 call for an armed robbery that had just occurred at 19th and Newton Street NW. Upon arriving on the scene, the victim reported that he was walking towards his car when a suspect approached him from behind, pointed a black handgun at the back of his head, and robbed him of his phone, wallet and car keys. The suspect then told the victim to run in the other direction. When the victim briefly looked back, he observed a white SUV pull up and then observed the suspect enter through the passenger side of the vehicle. The victim described the suspect as an African American male, 20-25 years of age, 5’10” in height, thin build, wearing a black ski mask and a white hooded sweatshirt.
Then, at approximately 3:50 am Saturday morning, police responded to a 911 call for an armed robbery on the 1400 block of Leegate Road NW, near the Maryland / DC border. The victims, an adult female and an adult male, reported that a suspect approached them from behind as they were exiting their vehicle. The suspect demanded money and robbed both victims of cash. The suspect also took the female victim's car keys and camera bag. The suspect was then observed entering the passenger side of a silver SUV with DC tags. The victims described the suspect as an African American male, 5’9”, thin build, dark complexion, wearing all black clothing, and a black ski mask.
Approximately 10 minutes later, the police received another 911 call for an armed robbery in the 4800 block of Sedgwick Street NW. The victims provided a similar description of the suspect, and stated that the get away vehicle was a silver SUV (possibly a Honda Pilot) bearing a DC tag of FK0181. 
At approximately 4:50am, the silver Honda Pilot used in the robberies was observed by MPD, who attempted to stop the vehicle. The suspects immediately fled. MPD and US Park Police pursued the vehicle for several minutes, but lost sight of the suspects in the area of Riggs Road and Eastern Avenue NE.
Police are asking for anyone with information on the robberies to contact MPD Command Information Center at 202-727-9099. 

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Yuliya Panfil

Yuliya is a new member of the Petworth community, but has already fallen in love with the neighborhood's vibe and offerings. She's a former journalist and recovering lawyer, now working in international development. When she's not working, Yuliya loves to travel, try new food, drink red wine, and write (preferably at the same time!).  Yuliya and her husband, Michael, chronicle some of their adventures through their blog, Window 3.  You can email Yuliya with any story ideas, particularly human interest stories about interesting area residents. 

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