Video: Daytime Robbery of Universal Gear, 1529 14th St NW

by May 16, 2009 at 5:43 pm 2,365 1 Comment

You may have already heard about the robbery of Universal Gear on Wednesday, the clothing store at 1529 14th Street NW (just south of Q). The store posted its surveillance video on YouTube and is offering a $500 reward for information on the robbers. (The robbery was first reported on Wednesday, but I didn’t know the exact address.)

This isn’t the first time that a retail store on the 14th Street corridor has been the victim of this type of crime“Teen Girls Sought for Assaults, Robberies” at 14th St. Shops.”

It has been apparent for some time–as in several years–that the retail stores on the 14th Street corridor between Rhode Island and U Street are targets for this type of crime. The city loves to redevelop whole strips and encourage entrepreneurs to set up shop. It would be nice if the small business owners got the type of attention that is lavished on the big developers.

Note: I am NOT blaming the police. I view this as an issue around priorities and resources. In other words, the Council and the mayor need to make sure that that small business owners get the support they need, including police protection. More foot patrols, anyone?

Dcist has a good write up:

Logan Circle men’s clothing and athletic store Universal Gear posted a surveillance video of a recent robbery in their store to YouTube, and they’re offering a $500 reward to anyone who shares information leading to the arrest of one or more of the individuals involved.

In the video, you can plainly see a large group of eight to nine young men enter the store, located at 1529 14th St NW, and begin browsing. After about 30 seconds of piling clothes into their arms, the youths flee the store all at once, getting into a scuffle with two of the store’s employees (one of whom is wielding some kind of a bat) along the way. All of the suspects get away.

The crime is remarkably similar to another recent group robbery at Rue 14, a women’s boutique several blocks north on 14th Street. In that incident, a large group of young women entered the store together and stole multiple items of clothing before fleeing, leaving one person behind to assault the store manager.


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