DC leaders say robberies in city down by 33 percent, with help of home surveillance cameras

- The District's mayor and police chief came together on Tuesday to announce a reduction in the number of robberies across the city.

Two years ago, a robbery task force was formed and since that time, D.C. officials say robberies have dropped by 33 percent.

But officials admit, there are still too many -- about 2,000 this year. 

Sixteen-year-old Zaire Kelly was killed near a park at 13th Street and Downing Street NE after a man tried to rob him.

Residents call the area "get robbed park." They say police have stepped up patrols in the area, but neighbors say there's more that city officials can do. 

All you have to do is to check out D.C.'s twitter page to see the issue -- robbery after robbery. One recently happened inside a phone store. 

But according to police records - the numbers are pulling back.

"The reason we're focusing on the robberies is because that's the largest category of violent crime that we have in our city. It's the one that impacts the most residents in our city," says Police Chief Peter Newsham.

There are now 7,600 new electronic eyes out there, paid for by the D.C. surveillance camera rebate program. 

"I cannot tell you how valuable it has been for us on the Metropolitan Police Department to have these cameras capturing suspects involved in this type of behavior," says Chief Newsham.

A focus has also been on repeat offenders. DC Attorney General Karl Racine has been assisting in that area.

"So we doubled down, and what we did was we started relying more on video evidence, on phone evidence, social media," said Racine.

Mayor Bowser says she believes the city is the safest it's ever been in her lifetime. But she knows even one robbery is too many, like the one that ended Zaire Kelly's life.

"I personally believe robberies scare people more than anything else, because when you have robbery sprees they are seemingly random. They're seemingly involving people who are otherwise not involved in violence or any other criminal activity and they become victims," she says.

Police have reportedly stepped up patrols in the Brentwood neighborhood, but neighbors still say they've asked for brighter lighting and for the landscaping to be kept.

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