Props to the Cops: “Series of Arrest and gun recoveries”

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

From MPD:

“Earlier tonight [Tues.], Third District officers made a series of arrest for robberies throughout the area. First, officers apprehended an adult male after he attempted to rob a complainant of an Apple I-Phone, at 1301 Clifton Street. Second, officers made the arrest of 2 additional males after they attempted to rob a complainant at 7th and Vermont Avenue.…In both cases, I-Phones were taken and recovered….

Additionally, in (2) separate cases, members of the Vice and Crime Suppression Team were able to arrest (2) males for carrying a pistol without a license and took (2) handguns off the street. The locations of those arrests were 8th and Berry and 5200 block of Illinois Avenue.

Anyone with information relating to these or any cases relating to robberies or guns are encouraged to call 202-727-9099.”

A message was also shared on the Shaw listserv from one of the mugging victims:

“Wanted to fill you all in on my experiences last night. I was walking south on Vermont Ave. between S and R St., when I was approached by two black males who demanded my phone and wallet while indicating that they had a gun in their jacket pocket. I gave both up immediately and they ran directly towards our neighborhood. After a few minutes I went in the same direction and called the police with the help of a couple I stopped on the street.

The police arrived before I was done on the phone with 911, and we immediately began driving around the neighborhood attempting to locate them. Since I have an iPhone, one of the officers let me use his iPhone to download the Find My iPhone app, which immediately indicated that my phone was north of the intersection of Florida and Rhode Island NW. We sped over there, tracked my phone into a dead end alley (the 3th/4rd/T St. alley NW), which the police apprehended the two men. They found my phone almost immediately (with a little help from Find My iPhone’s beeping sound), and I ID’d the two men. About an hour later, one of them agreed to show the officers where they’d hidden my wallet – which turned out to be in the 10th St. Alley at French St.

I want to thank Officer L. Garrett and Detective Jose Morales for their great work and courtesy last night. Overall, it went about as well as a mugging can go, but I am a little shaken up that both the crime itself and the wallet’s hiding place were so close to our homes.

One note: the computer in police cruisers appears to run only Internet Explorer 6 (as a digital strategist, we often make the decision not to support this ancient mess of a browser), which cannot run Find My iPhone. If the officers had not had iPhones themselves to track my device, this would not have had a happy ending. I would highly suggest that the Metropolitan Police invest in installing a browser in cruiser computers that can handle modern phone tracking applications.

It’s also worth noting that this is the third such crime I’ve heard about among my friends in the last week. It may be something about the time of year: be safe and alert out there.”

30 Comment

  • WOW – I love this story!

    Great plug for Apple, inc.! lol

    No, but seriously, I think it’s amazing that the cops complied and went along with it. We need more of these guys on the streets!

    • Android users can use the Lookout app to get the same functionality – can show your phone on a map in a browser, can sound an alarm on the phone remotely, etc.

    • The rest of the story is likely to be much less happy. The exact same thing happened to me last year (robbed of iPhone at gunpoint, which I finally prodded to police to go recover after 10 days of navigating the bureaucracy and incompetence) only to have gross police incompetence and DC’s protection of 17 year old violent criminals bungle the prosecution so that the punks went free and are presumably still out robbing people at gunpoint. Can we please have an update to let us know if the robbers are successfully prosecuted or whether the pigs screw up the prosecution like they do with many similar cases?

  • which Shaw listserv is that post from?

    BTW, awesome reporting of some good news. Lock the thugs up!

  • Internet Explorer 6? What is the problem with government tech? I had to fight with IT to get Chrome on my federal agency computer.

    • NO MONEY! Seriously, does this have to be explained???

      • Chrome and Firefox are free.

        It’s over-protective IT security policies that prevent updates.


      • The issue isn’t money. Chrome – and every other browser, essentially – is free to download and use.

        My understanding is it’s a security issue. Every piece of software that goes onto a (I’m assuming, since it’s gov’t) secure network has to be vetted for vulnerabilities, Trojan horses, etc.

        Considering IE 6 was released more than 10 years ago, there should have been plenty of time for a thorough examination of any subsequent releases (bumping up just to IE7 would be sufficient for most compatibility issues to be addressed, really).

    • The reason for the police is most likely that there is a web app that requires the use of IE6. IE has horrible backwards compatibility, so while the upgrade would be free, you’d have to redesign an entirely new or multiple new web applications.

  • FYI, a TON of corporate systems still use IE6 – because it works for their (often custom) business applications and rewriting/recertifying those apps is not a high priority just so us drones can surf the greater web (which, after all, isn’t the point of our jobs). So don’t expect IE6 to go away anytime soon.

  • It’s great to hear that this technology is finally being used by the cops. Last year when my roomaate had her iphone stolen we tracked it using find my phone, and had to explain to the cops that the program was giving us the actual location of the phone and they should go look there. They finally went to the address a day later but needless to say the suspect and the phone were long gone.

    Another tip I learned from that incident – your phone’s IMEI number is a unique identifier for your actual phone; you can call up your service provider and tell them the IMEI number and that it was stolen and they can put it on a block list that prevents the phone from being used on any network even if they put a new sim card in it. Best case the guy walks into a store to see what’s wrong and gets caught with the stolen phone, but at least it esentially makes the phone worthless except as a really nice ipod.

  • Steve Jobs/MPD: 1, Street thugs: 0

    There’s an app for that, bitches.

    Hopefully this happens more and more and the thieves realize to steal droids or something. Its pretty myopic of me, but I want my iphone to be safe.

  • Great story on the quick-thinking Shaw resident recovering his/her iPhone!

  • I am impressed! Love this story with a happy ending. Props to the police 🙂

  • With this case and the use of DNA testing on dog poo in yesterday’s post I’m impressed at how technology is being used to fight crime. The crimes we prioritize are less impressive (see dog poo case).

  • Do you know what time the Shaw robbery took place? Thanks.

  • Of course if the thieves know what they’re doing the first thing they do is turn off the phone and ditch the sim card, rendering Find My iPhone useless.
    This is what happened to me in July when I had my iPhone stolen while walking home from the gym (at 15th and S). I was in a police car within 5 minutes of the theft after calling 911 from a store’s phone and got right on the police officer’s computer and my phone was already turned off. If the police aren’t able to located the thief on foot right away, the phone is gone.

    I am glad to hear that some people actually are able to get their phones back even though that was not the case for me! I think that the thieves who steal iPhones regularly (and there are a lot of them) know exactly what to do once they nab it.

    Also, @10&S US carriers will NOT blacklist an IMEI number in the United States. This is an option in Europe, but not the United States. (Trust me, I tried.) Also, Apple will not list your phone as stolen on your AppleCare because AppleCare is tied to the hardware and not the person.

  • While iphones seem to be a popular target, I wanted to add that I witnessed a woman and man wrestling for control over a woman’s purse at the corner (CVS side) of Princeton Pl and Ga Ave at 9am Thursday morning last week. This is with busy car traffic on Ga Ave and street construction workers standing at the other corner. The woman started yelling at the guy causing us all to notice what was going on and he fled into the alley behind the Blue Banana. Without the purse, so kudos to that woman for holding on.
    My hope is that this is a rare occurance but how would you know given that I doubt this incident was reported.

  • What, did they let a bunch of kids out of DYRS recently? Wonder how many of these gun and robbery arrests involved kids under 18 and how many are chronic repeat offenders let back out on the street each week.

  • so great you got your phone back and the perps arrested!

  • I was mugged in exactly the same way and very close to French and 10th Street (that’s where the bike riding thugs hang out and wait for their drug dealing orders to come in) this summer. I hope that these kids are prosecuted and that they go to jail.

  • I’m also curious what time this took place…

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