Monday evening update with more info from MPD 2nd District:
This past weekend, there were several street robberies in which victims had iPhones taken away from them by force. The robberies took place in several areas near Georgetown and Dupont. Specifically, in the 1400 block of 31st Street, 29th and R Streets, and the 1500 block of 19th Street, NW. A separate robbery, in which a suspect grabbed a victim’s wallet in the 2100 block of P Street was immediately closed with an arrest by Second District officers. The descriptions given by victims in these robberies vary, but detectives are examining the events as we speak and will continue to search for leads. In the meantime, please continue to use caution when walking at night. It is best to walk in groups. Finally–your iPhone is being targeted by thieves so let’s make it as difficult as possible for them. If you have any information about these cases please call (202) 727-9099 or 911to report any suspicious activity or a crime in progress.
MPD 2nd District is warning residents about recent iPhone robberies in the West Dupont area. Be cautious, particularly if you are asked to make call by a stranger.
On Wednesday night, and again late last night (Friday, 2:00 am), there were two separate robberies at 21st and P Streets NW. In both cases, the suspect approached the victims and engaged them in conversation before snatching their iPhones and running away. During the robbery last night, the suspect asked the victim if he could use the phone to make a call, but when the victim offered to dial for him, he snatched the phone and ran. The suspect in both cases is described as an African American male, about 20 years old, 5’8″ to 5’10.” Please use caution while walking late at night in this area and call Police immediately if you see anything suspicious.
The commander of MPD’s 2nd Police District issued another alert yesterday warning of an uptick–again–in street robberies of iPhones.
Commander Matthew Klein said there were at least six reported incidents over the past weekend in which the victim had the iPhone snatched from his or her hand while talking on the phone.
“In two of those cases over the weekend, the suspect first engaged the victims in conversation by asking if they could look up directions on their phones, then snatched the iPhones and ran off,” Klein said.
Klein also warned that it is not a good idea to leave an iPhone or other expensive “Smart Phone” lying on a restuarnat table, particularly outdoors. In addition, it is dangerous to talk on a cell phone while alone at night in an area where there are few other people around.
These types of cell phones appeal to criminals because they can be easily reprogrammed, or erased, and sold for quick cash. Klein issued similar warnings in Jauary and May. MPD’s 2nd District includes Police Service Area (PSA) 208, which serves the Dupont-Kalorama neighborhoods.