Suspects arrested in O St. robbery

February 26, 2009

The Metropolitan Police Department announced on Sunday that they have arrested two subjects whom they believe are responsible for last week’s string of violent robberies, most of which occurred in the Second District, an area that includes Georgetown. According to MPD Second District Commander Matthew Klein, the two men are to blame for at least six robberies, including one incident that involved two Georgetown graduate students.

Georgetown graduate student Amina Kahn was walking home with her friend and fellow student, Anamaria McCleary, near 30th and O Streets at 2 a.m. on Saturday when an assailant approached them from behind and attempted to grab McCleary’s purse.  According to Kahn, McCleary was wearing the purse’s strap across her shoulder, so the assailant was unable to take it. He did, however, rip the strap and throw McCleary to the ground. Kahn hit the assailant and screamed.

Kahn said the assailant then turned to her, hit her across the face, took her purse, and fled. She then chased after the assailant, but he got into the bed of a black pick-up truck and was driven away.

According to Kahn, someone who heard screaming called the Metropolitan Police Department. Officers arrived within five to seven minutes of the call.

“It’s just scary,” Khan said. “Now I’m a bit terrified to walk on the streets at dark. Women are always vulnerable, even in developed countries … The guy did hit me a bit, and that’s a bit traumatic. I’m a bit scared. I don’t want to [walk] home, even at six in the evening.”

According to Klein, the arrests were made after stationing additional officers in the Georgetown and Dupont areas.

Although the suspects are in custody, Khan’s stolen possessions, including her passport and identification cards, have not been found. While Klein said that MPD is still investigating the case and hopes to recover the stolen goods, Khan is not optimistic.

“I come from Pakistan [and] I have more trust in the police system here,” Khan said. “I’m happy in terms of how quick they were, but in terms of getting your stuff back … there’s no way of finding which trash can your stuff’s in.”

Saturday evening MPD sent out a notification about the robbery spree to the universities in the Second District—Georgetown and George Washington University—to alert them of situation and to have “extra pairs of eyes” looking for the suspect, according to Klein. The notification sent to Georgetown students mistakenly stated that none of the victims were from the University community.

When the incident was reported to the Department of Public Safety a few hours after the notification from MPD was sent out, DPS was initially uncertain whether or not it was one of the crimes described in MPD’s message. DPS was only able to confirm that the incident was in fact part of the spree after the Public Safety Alert had been sent out to the University community.

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