WASHINGTON - Multiple armed robberies along the U Street corridor in the District have residents on edge and police searching for the suspects. The robberies have happened within walking distance apart and police say they could be related.
Three armed robberies have happened in this neighborhood in the past month alone. Despite businesses, homes and heavy pedestrian and commuter traffic in the area, the suspects remain on the run.
Two of the incidents happened in the 1300 block of U Street while a third incident happened in the 600 block of U Street. In all three incidents, police say the victim willingly entered the suspects’ car. In one case, the victim believed it was an Uber.
Police have released surveillance video showing two suspects investigators believe are behind these armed robberies along with a vehicle of interest detectives are searching for.
The first incident was reported on July 14 at around 11:30 p.m. in the 1300 block of U Street, NW. A police report says the victim approached the suspect about marijuana and then got into the suspect’s car to smoke marijuana. That is when the suspect apparently pulled out a gun, demanded the victim’s iPhone 6, wallet, credit cards and began to pistol whip him.
During the attack, the suspects reportedly stopped at different locations using the victim’s credit card to make purchases and to withdraw cash. The victim was ultimately tossed out the car in Maryland and treated at a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The second incident happened on July 27 at around 1 a.m. in the 600 block of U Street. Police say a suspect asked if the victim wanted marijuana. The victim said yes and then got into the car with the suspect -- where there were two other suspects inside. That is when the suspects attacked the victim with a gun, stole his credit cards and drove to different locations to withdraw cash. The victim in this case escaped the suspects’ car somewhere in Virginia.
The third armed robbery happened in the 1300 block of U Street last Saturday at around 2:30 a.m. In this case, the victim thought he was getting into an Uber. Once inside, he was attacked while his iPhone and credit cards stolen. The victim was able to jump out of the car in Maryland.
D.C. police say the cases have been turned over to its Criminal Investigations Division.
Uber said in a statement:
“We remind riders to double check two important details before starting a trip — the driver and the car. When requesting a trip through the Uber app, you receive the driver’s photo, name, the car make/ model and license plate number.”