Case dropped against D.C. man who said he was wrongfully accused of stealing gun from store

The case against a D.C. man who said he was wrongfully accused of stealing a firearm from a gun shop in Arlington has been dropped. 

FOX 5's Bob Barnard confirmed the update Monday. Barnard says authorities and prosecutors say video shows 27-year-old Reginald Robinson did not steal the weapon. However, the store owner maintains that he believes Robinson is responsible.

Robinson said in early February, he walked into NOVA Armory to purchase his first gun with a friend, who's a law enforcement officer.

The gun cost $800, and Robinson said he wanted it for protection.

However, Robinson was arrested one month later, and accused of stealing a second gun.

"I'm upset, I'm angry, I'm confused," Robinson said.

When asked why his client is being accused of stealing, attorney Jonathan Simms said: "To be honest with you, because he's Black."

According to Simms, Robinson is a former Division I tennis player who has no prior criminal record.

Simms said he spent hours reviewing surveillance video from inside NOVA Armory when the alleged theft happened. 

"When (Robinson) stepped away from the (gun) rack and paid for his gun, that gun that they're claiming was stolen was still there," Simms tells FOX 5.

The surveillance footage is not available to the public at this time.

One month later, in March, Simms said NOVA Armory coordinated with police to arrest his client.

Robinson was expecting to get firearm training in D.C., but instead the room was full of federal agents and Metropolitan Police officers.

"They sat him down, interrogated him, made these ridiculous, baseless claims of him being a gang member – just to do it," Simms said.

FOX 5 spoke with NOVA Armory's owner, Shawn Poulin, on the phone. He said Robinson is guilty and stole the gun.

FOX 5 has also obtained an email between the Arlington Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney and Simms that implies the case may be dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

"I care deeply about ensuring that people aren’t wrongly convicted for something they weren’t involved in," A prosecutor wrote in the email. "There is a large difference between an innocent person who is wrongly charged and a difficult case where probable cause exists but prosecutors feel that the trial burden may not be met."

Simms said that the case is disturbing "on many levels."

"I think it’s also an embarrassment," Simms said. "It’s an embarrassment for the NOVA Armory. It is an embarrassment for the Arlington Police Department and Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office."

NOVA Armory's owner, Poulin, believes the Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Office is erring on the side of caution, and scared to prosecute.

The Arlington Commonwealth Attorney's Office tells FOX 5 they can't comment on a pending case.