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Tag Archive | "Crime"

Police Seek Suspect in 12th Street Patio Robbery


From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

"robbery"

Crime news from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

UPDATE: Police have made an arrest in the case, according to the Washington Post. James Edward Wade, 30, was arrested Saturday and charged with armed robbery.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is seeking a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred on a restaurant patio just east of Logan Circle last month. The incident occurred just before 9:30 pm on Friday, May 17, on the patio at Pizzoli’s Pizzeria at 1418 12th Street NW.

Police have posted surveillance video from the incident, which shows the suspect approaching the two male victims while they ate on the patio. After a brief conversation, he produced a handgun and stole money and an iPhone from the victims before fleeing.

The two male victims, who were interviewed by The Washington Post, described remaining calm even after the casual conversation with the suspect turned into an armed robbery. As the Post noted, the video posted Thursday has quickly gone viral with close to 25,000 views by Friday afternoon, making it one of the most highly viewed YouTube videos posted by MPD.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to contact police at 202.727.9099.

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Lanier Reiterates Displeasure with Cash-for-Phones ATMs


From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

"Crime"

Smartphones and portable electronic devices are always targeted. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier appeared on the TODAY Show last Thursday expressing frustration with the rise in ATMs that allow customers to trade in and recycle used cell phones and other electronics for cash on the spot.

ecoATM is the San Diego-based company that produces the machines and places them in malls and shopping centers across the country. Lanier believes that ecoATMs provide an extra incentive to potential robbers, because the machines offer a quick and easy way to trade in stolen phones for cash.

The company disagrees, arguing that extensive security measures make it difficult to trade in stolen phones. Customers using the machines must be 18-years-old and provide a valid photo identification card that is compared in real-time to a photo taken by the machine. They must also provide a thumbprint.

ecoATM records the serial number of each phone collected and stores them for at least 30 days after collection. Additionally, the company announced Wednesday the creation of an eight-member Law Enforcement Advisory Board, who will provide recommendations on how ecoATM can best partner with police agencies and ensure the machines are not used for reselling stolen goods.

Lanier first argued against the use of ecoATMs on WTOP in February, stating that up to 30 to 35 percent of the phones recycled at ecoATMs are stolen. The company disputes these figures, noting on their website that fewer than five out of every 10,000 phones recycled are stolen.

Lanier said Thursday that MPD believes at least 200 phones stolen in the District have turned up in suburban locations of the machines and that MPD has already made six arrests in these cases. She did commend the company for being very cooperative in law enforcement investigations when a phone believed to be stolen is found deposited in the ATM.

ecoATM currently does not have any machines inside the District, and has not announced any plans to establish a D.C. location. The company formerly operated a machine in Temple Hills, MD at Iverson Mall, but the machine was removed because of a licensing issue. There also was previously a machine in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City that no longer appears on the company’s list of locations.

While there are still a number of ecoATMs in the D.C. metropolitan area, the remaining current locations would not be particularly convenient for District robbers. The closest ATMs are in Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia; St. Charles Towne Center in Waldorf, Maryland; and Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Virginia.

If your smartphone is lost or stolen, you can have the device remotely disabled by the provider to make it more difficult for the phone to be reused or resold. More information is available from MPD’s “Brick It!” website (DC Announces Initiative Encouraging Victims to Disable Stolen Phones).

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Final Sentences Handed Down in Meth Distribution Case


From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

"Crime"Lee M. Hylton, 51, and Michael Talon, 31, were both recently sentenced for their role in a methamphetamine distribution scheme that previously sent Marc A. Gersen, a former Georgetown law student, to prison (Former Georgetown Law Student Sentenced for Meth Distribution).

Both Hylton and Talon pleaded guilty in 2012 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in exchange for the dismissal of all other charges.

All three men were arrested in December 2011 after police discovered methamphetamine and chemicals used for producing drugs in an apartment shared by Gersen and Talon at the Imperial House Condominium at 1601 18th Street NW and in a room at the Beacon Hotel at 1615 Rhode Island Avenue NW.

Hylton, who most recently resided in Arlington, was sentenced March 1 to four years in prison, the same sentence Gersen received in February. Hylton will be placed on three years of supervised release after his prison term and must perform 200 hours of community service. He also must forfeit $85,000 in cash linked to the sale and distribution of methamphetamine. Both Gersen and Hylton are scheduled for release from federal prison camps on May 25, 2015. Both also will receive a 500-hour drug treatment program while imprisoned.

Talon received no prison time and was sentenced to three years of supervised release in a hearing on April 24. He is a Canadian citizen and agreed to return to Canada and comply with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation process. According to court records, Talon played a lesser role in the conspiracy than Gersen and Hylton. He is also battling serious medical issues and will receive healthcare in Canada as a citizen. Based on court documents, Talon is seeking a new job in media relations in Canada. He previously founded a now defunct communications firm, OnRecord Media, in the District.

All three suspects were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Judge Reggie B. Walton.

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Two Weekend Gun Crimes in Borderstan, One a Shooting


From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

"crime"

Crime news from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

Two unrelated gun crimes were reported in Borderstan late Saturday and early Sunday morning, by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

18th and Florida NW Gun Robbery

At about 11:50 pm, a victim was robbed at gunpoint in an alley near 18th Street and Florida Avenue NW by two suspects.

The first suspect, who was armed with a black handgun, is described as a black male about 6’2” tall with a dark complexion and dreadlocks last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt. The second suspect is described as a black male about 6’2” tall with a medium complexion last seen wearing a red jacket.

Shooting at 8th and N NW

At about 3:45 am on Sunday, April 21, MPD reported a shooting at 8th and N Streets NW. According to a post from police, an officer patrolling in the area heard the sound of gunshots and found a victim who had been shot in the lower leg. He was taken to the hospital for treatment. The suspect was described as a black male with a red shirt and was seen fleeing the scene on foot.

Attempted Robbery at 14th and W NW

Earlier, on Saturday, police made an arrest in an attempted robbery near 14th and W Streets NW, according to a post. A suspect grabbed the victim around the neck and demanded money. He fled after the victim yelled for police and was apprehended a short time later by plainclothes officers. The suspect was arrested for assault with intent to rob.

Anyone with information in any of these cases is asked to call the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099.

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Police Arrest Nine in Shaw Drug Bust


From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

"drug"

Crime news from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) made nine arrests in the Shaw neighborhood on Friday after a lengthy investigation on drug dealing and violence in the area.

According to a release, the arrests were made across the District, including near the intersection of 8th and R Streets NW, where the illegal activity of the group was concentrated. Suspects were arrested for a number of offenses including distribution of crack cocaine, weapons offenses and robbery.

In a statement, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier said, “This is significant for this community as many of the suspects who were charged did not reside in that neighborhood, but loitered there and committed violent crimes. This operation is part of the Metropolitan Police Department’s continued commitment to reduce crime in our neighborhoods.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted MPD detectives from the Third District Vice Unit and the Narcotics and Special Investigations Division during the investigation.

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Police Seek Person of Interest in Middle School Theft


PoliceFrom Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a person of interest in a December 10 theft at Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson. Police have released surveillance video, which shows a suspect in a hallway of the school in the 2000 block of 10th Street NW just after 5:00 pm. The person of interest is seen leaving a classroom and carrying a plastic bag, which police say contained iPads stolen from the school.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call MPD at 202-727-9099.

Thefts of computer equipment from DC schools have not been uncommon recently. Three elementary schools outside of Borderstan were targeted over Thanksgiving break according to DCist.
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Tap & Parlour, Bohemian Caverns Reopen After Liquor License Suspension


From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

"Bohemian"

Tap & Parlor/Bohemian Carverns at 11th and U Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Tap & Parlour and Bohemian Caverns, which share a liquor license and building at 2001 11th Street NW, reopened Friday evening after a temporary liquor license suspension that began December 8.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier shut down the establishments after an alleged second-degree sexual assault that took place in Tap & Parlour. Lanier has the authority to temporarily close establishments serving alcohol for up to 96 hours under the Emergency Suspension of Liquor Licenses Act of 2005.

According to the investigative report by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA; available from Washington City Paper), a female victim reported that she was sexually assaulted by an employee of Tap & Parlour at about 4 am on December 8.

The victim and her friends had been drinking with a manager they knew and employees in the lower level of the stablishment. The victim reported she became tired and went up to the street-level bar to rest. When she awoke, she was being sexually assaulted by a male employee. After an MPD investigation, Lanier closed the bar at 6 pm December 8. The ABRA investigation also concluded that Tap & Parlour was serving alcohol past its closing time of 3 am.

ABRA continued the suspension of Tap & Parlour’s liquor license at a December 12 hearing, but allowed the establishment to reopen following a December 13 hearing. Bohemian Caverns and Tap & Parlour had to meet a number of conditions before reopening (see the Order on Summary Suspension).

These included firing the employee and manager involved in the December 8 incident, fixing a broken lock and broken security cameras, creating written guidelines for ensuring the bar is closed on time and submitting a Security Plan to ABRA. The Security Plan had to cover a number of areas including the placement of security guards and cameras, provisions for reporting incidents to MPD and ABRA and policies on ID checks. Within 30 days, all employees must undergo sexual assault training, and ABRA must ensure that all four security cameras are functional and that security footage is being kept for 30 days.

These conditions were all met on December 14 and Bohemian Caverns tweeted about the club’s reopening for happy hour that day.

Tap & Parlour and Bohemian Caverns will have a status hearing on January 30 to monitor compliance with these conditions. The incident was also referred to the Office of the Attorney General for a potential show cause hearing.

The ABRA Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board also held a fact-finding hearing during their December 13 meeting on the triple shooting outside Indulj on December 3 (Chief Lanier Shuts Down Indulj for 96 Hours Following Triple Shooting). The Board set a status hearing on the case for March 6. Indulj was allowed to reopen on December 7.

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The Bicycle Groper: Guilty Plea in Dupont Sexual Assault Cases


From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com

Oscar Mauricio Cornejo-Pena, 31, pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday. Cornejo-Pena was arrested in August (Police Arrest Man for Sexual Assault Incidents in Dupont Area) for a series of sexual assaults in which he approached women from behind on a bicycle and fondled them before riding away. He became known as the “bicycle groper.”

"robberies"

Crime news from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

The four incidents all occurred in August. Cornejo-Pena pleaded guilty to two assaults in the 1200 block of Connecticut Avenue NW, one in the 1900 block of Q Street NW, and a fourth at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue NW and U Street NW.

Sentencing in the case was delayed until Wednesday, November 14 at 9:30 am to allow for victim impact statements. According to the The Washington Post, Cornejo-Pena faces up to 180 days in jail for each offense.

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Police Service Area 301 Officer Dies, Cause of Death Unknown


"Police Service Area 301 in DC"

PSA 301 runs from Q Street north to Florida Avenue and from 14th Street to 18th Street NW. (DC Citizen Atlas map)

From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

Metropolitan Police Officer (MPD) Oscar A. Pedrozo, 37, died on August 25 in Maryland. Officer Pedrozo’s most recent assignment was patrolling on a Segway in Police Service Area (PSA) 301, which covers 14th Street NW to 18th Street NW between Q Street NW and Florida Avenue NW.

According to reports from the Washington Times and WTOP, officials remain unsure of whether Pedrozo’s death is related to injuries he suffered in an April 2007 stabbing. An autopsy was performed by the Maryland Office of Chief Medical Examiner. Fraternal Order of Police (the DC Police Union) Chairman Kristopher Baumann said that the cause of death is not yet available.

On April 20, 2007, Pedrozo was stabbed in the abdomen outside of Solo’s Restaurant and Carryout at 3566 14th Street NW. Pedrozo was off-duty at the time and was stabbed while trying to break up a fight between two patrons. Jose (Tito) Diaz was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon (knife) and Jose N. Villalta (nicknamed “Chito”) was charged with assault with intent to kill in the case.

According to DC Superior Court records, charges against Diaz were later dropped after the prosecutor failed to show up in court twice. Villalta was convicted of aggravated assault while armed and was sentenced in December 2007 to 96 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. According to Federal Bureau of Prison records, he is currently in prison in Petersburg, VA with a scheduled release date of June 19, 2014. If Pedrozo’s death is determined to be related to the stabbing, Villalta could face additional charges including homicide.

According to WTOP, if Pedrozo’s death is determined to be a death in the line of duty, his family would be eligible for significant financial assistance from both local and federal organizations. His name would also be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial near Judiciary Square. A determination on whether Pedrozo’s death was in the line of duty will be made after autopsy results are released.

Officer Pedrozo worked for the MPD for seven years after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. According to his obituary, he is survived by his wife and four children. He was buried August 31 in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, MD.

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Gun Robbery at 16th and Florida NW Thursday Evening


News from Dupont-Logan-U Street.

From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.

A victim was robbed at gunpoint Thursday evening at 16th Street and Florida Avenue NW. The alert from police came at 6:40 pm. Three suspects with a bike heading westbound on W Street NW were reported. No arrests have been announced.

The Borderstan area — Dupont, Logan and U Street — recorded 17 gun robberies in the first three months of 2012, up from 12 in the same time period in 2011. Citywide, gun robberies are up about 51% this year compared to 2011 numbers. See related posts below for more information.

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