Police: Robbers Targeting Pedestrians with iPhones

by Borderstan.com January 26, 2010 at 7:47 am 4,416 21 Comments

This is one of the more depressing Crimes of Notes posts that I have done in some time, especially in terms of robberies and stolen autos. The only silver lining in the crimes noted below is that only two were gun crimes.

The recent number of robberies has been noted by Police Service Area (PSA) 208, and we got the following message last night, which was targeted to the Dupont-Logan area:

Of late there have been an increase of street robberies around the DC Metro area, PSA 208 nor the Second District is immune from these. There is not a specific suspect lookout but there is a very specific target, the iPhone. To help combat this problem we are asking the users of all phones and PDAs to use good street sense and be completely aware of their surroundings.

In other words, people, it is a bad idea to chatter away on your cell phone (especially an iPhone, it seems)… totally unaware of your surroundings… particularly at night… and especially when you are by yourself on a quiet street. However, a number of these crimes occurred in relatively busy areas, including 15th and P NW last evening at 7:06 p.m. (more details below the fold).

Following are crimes of note–robberies, assaults, burglaries and stolen autos–that occurred between January 16 and January 25. There was also a hit and run of a pedestrian early on Sunday morning at 14th and U NW.

Hit and Run

  • January 24, 3:30 a.m., “a pedestrian [woman] was struck at 14th and U Streets, NW, by a hit and run vehicle. The vehicle is described as a 2005 Toyota Camry, 4 doors, silver, with an unknown tag. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Metropolitan Police Department on 202-727-9099.” Note: dcist has more on this incident.


A number of the following robberies occurred in fairly busy areas and not on quiet side streets–including 15th and P NW around 7 p.m. last night. In addition, ski masks are apparently back in style among robbers; this is the first time I remember seeing ski masks in some of these reports.

  • January 16, Robbery with Gun, 1400 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW.
  • January 16, Robbery: Carjacking with Gun, 1200 block of N Street NW.
  • January 19, 7:05 p.m. Robbery, 900 block of R Street NW.
  • January 21, 12:15 p.m., Robbery, 12th and W Streets NW. Note: one suspect wearing ski mask.
  • January 22, 12:33 p.m., Robbery, 1700 block of 17th Street NW-Sidewalk.
  • January 22, 6 p.m., Robbery, 1700 block of U Street NW-Sidewalk.
  • January 22, 7:33 p.m., Robbery-Snatch, 1500 block of Florida Avenue NW. “2 B/M’s, 16 to 20 years of age.”
  • January 24, approximately 12:40 a.m., Robbery/Snatch, 1700 block of U Street N.W. “The complainant was walking westbound on U Street, N.W., when three unknown subjects approached the complainant from behind and snatch her purse. The suspects fled eastbound on U Street, N.W. The three suspects were described as black males; 18 – 21 years old; 5’10” to 6’2″ in height; no further information provided.”
  • January 24, 9:38 p.m., Robbery, 1800 block of Riggs Place NW. Note: 2 to 3 males, one wearing a ski mask.
  • January 24, 5:23 p.m., Robbery with Force and Violence, 1500 block of Connecticut Avenue NW.
  • January 25, 7:06 p.m., Robbery with Force and Violence, 15th and P Streets NW. “Suspects last seen running up 15th Street; 2 B/M, 15 to 16 years of age; S1 wearing green jacket with hood.” If you have information, call 911 with Event number I20100043550.


  • January 23, 12:15 a.m., Assault on a Police Officer, 1600 block of R Street NW. “While attempting to escort a combative customer from a nightclub in the listed area, the customer assaulted several employees and a uniformed police officer. He was arrested on the scene and charged with APO and Simple Assault.”
  • January 24, 2:11 a.m., Assault with Deadly Weapon, 1400 block of U Street NW-Tavern/Night Club.


Three of the following four burglaries occurred in the same area, the two on 15th Street and the one on R Street.

  • January 20, 2 a.m., Burglary, 1200 block of U Street NW-Tavern / Night Club.
  • January 22, between 12:49 and 6 a.m., Burglary, 1600 block of 15th Street NW-Residence.
  • January 22, between 2:30 and 6:31 a.m., Burglary, 1600 block of 15th Street NW-Residence.
  • January 24, between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., Burglary, 1400 block of R Street NW-Residence.

Stolen Auto

The number of stolen autos on or near Vermont Avenue south of U Street stands out.

  • January 16, Stolen Auto, 17th and R Streets NW.
  • January 17, Stolen Auto, Q Street and Vermont Avenue NW.
  • January 17, Stolen Auto, 12th Street and Vermont Avenue NW.
  • January 17, Stolen Auto, 1100 block of Vermont Avenue NW.
  • January 18, Stolen Auto, 1400 block of R Street NW.
  • January 19, Stolen Auto, R Street and Vermont Avenue NW.
  • January 22, between 11:30 p.m. and 3 a.m., Stolen Auto, 1500 block of U Street NW.
  • January 23, 4:30 p.m., Stolen Auto, 2000 block of 16th Street NW.
  • January 24, between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., Stolen Auto, 16th and Corcoran Streets NW.
  • January 24, 6 p.m., Stolen Auto, 1600 block of Vermont Avenue NW.


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