Reader Mugged inside Wendy’s at 1:30pm Saturday in Petworth

Georgia Ave at Randolph St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I got mugged yesterday [Saturday] at the Wendy’s on Georgia Ave at Randolph around 1:30 pm. I was with the police for two hours, who did virtually nothing but waste time and say things like “well he’s probably long gone by now.” They took everything. It was so frightening. They have my keys and my address from my license…so even if I could go home I’m too scared to return to CoHi/Petworth at all. Apparently the mugger ran down Georgia to the metro, got on the first train, and then tried to drain all of my credit cards in Capitol Heights, MD. I got this information from my bank, NOT the police.

I don’t know what telling you all this will do, but maybe it’ll encourage people to be more vigilant in that area.”

66 Comment

  • So sorry that happened to you!

  • Sorry you had to go through that.

    Can you elaborate on what happened leading up to this so others can learn?

  • I wish you all the best. I’ve seen first hand how traumatic this can be, and I hope that they catch these lowlifes. My mom was robbed a few months ago by some men at a gas station. MPD was very uncooperative and quite disrespectful to my mom. I got in contact with my councilmember and they referred the incident to a commander. The officers were reprimanded and apologized to my mother. …however, I’m quite sure they’re out and about, treating other residents the same way.

    Mom’s purse was recovered, along with several others, from a trashcan nearby. Her wallet was never retrieved. It took months to get things in order. Apparently the guys went bananas in Costco right after the incident, and actually tried to purchase a car! I would recommend getting lifelock for the next couple months just to monitor your credit information, and definitely call all the credit bureaus to be safe. You never know if this is a typical snatch and grab for cash, or guys who deal in something larger. Crazy.


  • There’s a lot to unpack with this post, but I will just say one thing…of course it was your bank and not the police who notified you that your card had been used very recently. Contrary to what a lot of folks think, in reality the police don’t function like they do on TV and there would be no way MPD could/would know that your card was used nearby in a short amount of time as you seem to indicate. It absolutely sucks what happened to you, but I think that folks need to have realistic expectations about just what MPD can do.

    • Agree that the MPD wouldn’t know about the credit card usage. But overall, the MPD’s response seems frustrating. I had a wallet stolen in Alexandria a couple years ago. The police where there within minutes, were very courteous, were proactive about following up with me, and actually solved the case. They pulled security footage from where my credit card was used (shockingly, also Maryland) and were able to identify and arrest the person who used my card.

      And I know the level of crime isn’t the same in Alexandria as it is in DC. But if the MPD can’t adequately respond to a mugging in broad daylight, then it’s time to reexamine the leadership and policies within the MPD.

      • Also had my wallet stolen in Alexandria. Took the police 3 hours to come to me. And I even gave them exact times and locations (places with tons and tons of security cameras) where my cards were used, and they never did anything about it.

  • ugh, I’m sorry. Good news is one of the places the mugger tried to use your cards will probably have security footage. Also, WMATA has cameras in all the stations so the police might be able to figure out who did it based on entry time into the station/use of your metrocard if that’s how they got in.

    Definitely get your locks changed. If you can’t afford it, the DC crime victim’s compensation program may pay for it.

    • I’m wondering if homeowner’s insurance will cover a lock change.

      • I’m not a homeowner, but the apartment rental company/landlord changed the locks for (I think) free. If I get a bill, the gloves will come off for sure.

        • Nice landlord. Why do you think he owes you a free lock change?

        • hi there,

          If you have a police report number it is likely that Crime Victims Compensation will cover the charge for the lock change and up to $1500 for home security measures.

          For added help check out they help crime victims in dc

    • Ha. You seem to think MPD would do anything with the information you give them. I had my wallet and cell phone stolen last summer. I gave MPD exact times and locations where my cards were used. You know, so they could pull security footage, find the bastards, etc. They just seemed annoyed that I gave them that. And there’s no indication that they put the information to any use.

      • figby

        Ha. Me, too. My bank was verry pushy about my filing police reports and following up, I kept telling them there was really no use.

  • Sorry you had to go through this and glad you weren’t injured. I wish you lots of luck sorting out the financials and getting things in order from the items you lost. Don’t be afraid to seek out some talk therapy if you find yourself in fear of returning home. It’s natural to need some help to process those feelings and move forward.

  • 1:30pm on a Saturday afternoon at a busy intersection. Shameful. Very sorry this happened to you. This is unfortunately a pretty typical response by the cops in the Fourth District. I’ve lived in several metropolitan areas and have never heard so many stories about uncooperative, lazy and disrespectful police officers. It’s particularly a problem in Ward 4. They treat the victims as if they did something wrong. All they do is “respond” and then go through the motions. Try calling the media or newspapers. It seems the only thing that gets our elected officials attention. In my opinion, there needs to be a leadership change in the fourth district or a complete overhaul.

    • Be careful what you wish for. There will be a leadership change in ward 4 shortly, since our current leader is going to most likely be mayor and leading the entire city’s crime fighting efforts. Hopefully that will turn out better for the city than it has for ward 4.

  • I got mugged about 10 years ago in Cleveland Park. To MPD’s credit, probably 6-8 cars swarmed the area when I called and they actually tried to catch them. Within an hour the muggers were trying to use my debit card at an ATM in SE DC. Then after I cancelled my cards they tried to order a bunch of stuff on Eastbay, which then had the address they tried to ship to in Oxen Hill. Eastbay would only give the address to the cops, but I couldn’t get the cops to call them because it wasn’t a DC address and they said they couldn’t do anything. Frustrating.

    • “I got mugged about 10 years ago in Cleveland Park. To MPD’s credit, probably 6-8 cars swarmed the area when I called and they actually tried to catch them.”
      Wait – MPD is more responsive to street crime in Cleveland Park than Petworth? Getthehellouttahere.

    • Something similar happened to a friend of mine. His iPhone was stolen in DC and he was able to track it to a house in MD. The DC police refused to do anything because it was out of their jurisdiction since the stolen item was now in MD and the MD police said it was out of their jurisdiction because the crime happened in DC. He was so upset because he had the physical address of where his phone was located (Find my iPhone app) and no one could do anything about it.

  • Thank you guys so much for being so kind!!!!! This has been so scary but thank y’all for being so supportive.


    • Would you mind sharing a few more details as to how it happened? You might get some flack from the masses, but it might help us know what to look out for. It seems pretty crazy to be mugged at 1:30pm on a Saturday.

      • It happened while I was sitting down eating lunch in Wendy’s. I didn’t know what to do other than start screaming my head off. The guy must have run past 15 people – including Wendy’s employees – to get out the door, and despite screaming so loudly no one did anything to stop him from getting out the door. I took off running, continuing screaming. I would have continued down Georgia, but the sidewalk was closed for construction and the light had changed – so oncoming traffic meant I couldn’t run any farther. He must have run past countless stores/restaurants/etc, and despite continuing to scream, no one did anything to stop it. I was so grateful that groups of bystanders and a lady in Wendy’s came out to see if I were ok and help me call 911. I thought it was just one person, but apparently he had accomplices waiting on him outside.

        I called Metro Transit Police but they said since it didn’t take place on the metro, they cannot do anything. And since they tried to drain my accounts at ATMs in Capitol Heights, DC Metro Police can’t do anything, or at least that’s what I’m guessing since they were just so lackadaisical and blase about it the whole time I was with the officers.

        • fucking INSIDE WENDY’s? jesus.

        • Do you know how the crime was classified? Theft? Robbery Snatch? Did the guy tell you to give up your stuff or did he remove it from a chair or table? Seems trivial but these differences are what determines the classification of the crime, and robberies are Part 1 Offenses meaning they have to get reported to downtown immediately.

      • I filed a complaint with Wendy’s corporate but haven’t heard back. I just wanted to ask what measures were being done to make sure things like this don’t happen again, so that a neighborhood Wendy’s can be safe again. Definitely lost my appetite for fast food for a while though!!

        • Suspect description? We can all keep an eye out for individuals matching that description.

          • I know it’s not a helpful description, but tall (I’m short, and was sitting down, so everyone seems tall to me, but other witnesses described him as tall too), late teens/early 20s ish (his height made him appear older to me, but witnesses said he was 18-22 or so), African American, short cropped hair, was wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. I realise how generic a description that is, but that’s all I’ve got. There was nothing that really stood out about him, which is why I didn’t really see him coming.

        • Heard back from Wendy’s. They reviewed the security footage and apparently there were three guys inside the Wendy’s working together. Where I was sitting happened to be the one blind spot in the security cameras. The person said the three guys must have known that. Apparently when the guy who robbed me ran out one door, the one I followed him through, the other two ran out the other door. The person said they had been watching me/that side of the restaurant in the camera’s blind spot the whole time I was eating lunch. I asked what was being done to prevent things like this from happening in the future, and he said “ma’am it’s DC. It’s Petworth. There’s nothing anyone can do to prevent things like this from happening.”

          • god damn.

          • If this is the attitude of business owners, this further emphasizes the fact that the citizens aren’t the only ones who feel the police are severely ineffective.

          • If they knew that was a security camera blind spot, one of them must have worked there at some point, no? So awful.

          • Silence from Muriel Bowser. All we hear about is more affordable housing. What about crime?

          • That’s my guess (that they used to work there). I’m choosing to believe that they must have known that from having worked there, not because the employees at Wendy’s were “in on it” – people just can’t be that cruel. But given Wendy’s less than satisfactory reaction, especially the day of, nothing can surprise me anymore.

            I emailed Bowser and her chief of staff…hopefully it’ll make SOME strides towards making MPD district 4 safer.

          • saf

            ““ma’am it’s DC. It’s Petworth. There’s nothing anyone can do to prevent things like this from happening.”
            That’s bullshit. Places that feel like this about the neighborhoods they serve should f’ing well leave and let businesses that want to be here take those spaces.
            There are ways to minimize the risks. There are ways to handle it when it does happen. This is not one of those ways.

    • gotryit

      Best wishes – really, that must be truly unsettling. As for catching them? Sometimes MPD doesn’t follow up on surveillance footage that might capture a good shot of them. Last Wednesday morning, a lady was mugged across the street from me, and I had to pretty much throw the surveillance camera video at them for them to take it. There may be businesses along that stretch of Georgia that have cameras that capture the sidewalk.

    • gotryit

      Best wishes – really, that must be truly unsettling. As for catching them? Sometimes MPD doesn’t follow up on surveillance footage that might capture a good shot of them. Last Wednesday morning, a lady was mugged across the street from me, and I had to pretty much throw the video at them for them to take it. There may be businesses along that stretch of Georgia that have cameras that capture the sidewalk.

    • nightborn

      so sorry that happened to you! DC can be a scary place sometimes.

  • I’m so sorry this happened to you. If you’re comfortable with it, I highly recommend escalating this through Councilwoman Bowser, and contacting the media and metro (re: surveillance footage) if you haven’t already done so. Also, there are absolutely surveillance cameras along that strip on Georgia that could be of use. And because it’s inevitable, commentariat: no need to bash Bowser, metro, or the media in repsonse to this post.

    • They’re all terrible, self-evidently and reinforced by this post, so why would we bother?

  • I had put off posting this but I’m fairly certain I was a target on Georgia Avenue a couple of weeks ago on a Friday. I had returned a zipcar at Buchanan and Georgia and turning down GA towards Upshur and at the bus stop, this guy says “you have any drugs you want me to push?” weird, right, so I say “huh” and he says it again and I say “no”. Then he says “have any other goodies for me?” In the meantime, I see a guy walking towards us so I think he probably won’t try anything more, and he then says “give me a hug” and I say, “can’t, I’m late for an appointment” and proceed to walk down GA. during all of this I have a cellphone in my left hand–not a smartphone–a very old cellphone. I honestly think he scoped me out and decided it wasn’t worth it but also probably saw the other pedestrian I had my wallet in my jacket pocket (hence, I knew what the “hug” was all about). anyway, it shook me up. don’t really want to go back to that zipcar location.

    • This happens to many people along Georgia Av near the metro. Where are the cops? Wouldn’t increased street patrol be helpful? A greater prescience in this highly congested area would seem warranted. Need I mention this latest mugging was across the street from the new Safeway? I surely hope that with the opening there will be more law enforcement officials visible. Seeing as though the criminals don’t mind mugging people in broad daylight on Saturday, what does that say about how much they fear the cops? Or are worried about getting caught? Something needs to be done. Contact Muriel Bowser’s office as well as perhaps email a reporter with the one of the local newspapers or television stations.

    • Report it to zipcar. Maybe they can increase security in the lot.

  • I’m sorry to hear this happened.

    I live nearby, and I was really loving the neighborhood this weekend. Farmers market, beautiful weather, lots of people out and about. Much livelier than it was when I moved here even just 5 years ago.

    Then, walking home from 14th and Park to the GA/NH area yesterday evening, my fiance and I had three super ghetto encounters in the span of about 5 minutes:
    1) Two super-sketchy looking (homeless?) people blocking the sidewalk on Park smoking weed;
    2) An incredibly drugged-out guy staggering toward us and asking us for money on the next block;
    3) A quasi-homeless-looking man barely managing to stand up as he puked in someone’s lawn

    Some things never change.

    • Kinda odd, I had the same thing happen in Clarendon, a blacked-out guy barely standing puking on the door of the building.

      Some things happen everywhere that has people.

    • “Super ghetto”? Care to elaborate on what that means?

      • Just a wild hunch, but I think he used the term to mean these three things:
        1) Two super-sketchy looking (homeless?) people blocking the sidewalk on Park smoking weed;
        2) An incredibly drugged-out guy staggering toward us and asking us for money on the next block;
        3) A quasi-homeless-looking man barely managing to stand up as he puked in someone’s lawn

  • This is surprising in terms of location to me. EVERY single time I pass by that Wendy’s there is police sitting there and or getting food from there. Sorry to hear this happened.

    • It’s true. For all the demands for more police, they’ve really stepped it up in the past year or two. The first year I lived in Petworth, three people were killed on my block (near the metro). I think that was a big anomaly, but the cops have done an admirable job of establishing a presence. Way fewer shennanigans by teenagers hanging around and fighting outside the metro like was normal a few years ago.

  • I really wish merchants would ask to see ID to match the names on the license to the name on the credit card. I write “SEE ID” on the back on all of my credit cards and, even then, have only been asked a couple of times for my ID.

    • There is a far superior system that has been used around the world for decades: Chip and pin:

      U.S. banks and merchants have been dragging their feet on this because it costs money to switch over, but it makes stealing credit cards far less worthwhile. Each transaction would require a pin instead of a signature, which is barely a step above nothing in terms in security.

      The whole See ID thing is a hack that most merchants don’t care about. Additionally, a person can steal your license and your credit card and minimum-wageish employees don’t care that much about your financial security. But a strong system like chip and pin means that no one has to care.

    • The U.S. is transitioning over to at least a chip system, and if credit card security is important to you, I highly recommend you contact your representatives to tell them that you would prefer if we went the most secure route and went with chip and pin, instead of chip and signature.

      • Hahaha, “our representatives.” Yes, let’s see Delegate Holmes really stir some shit up in the House.

        • If your a DC citizen, you have less people to appeal, but you can also contact your bank. It is up to banks, currently, whether they go with chip and signature or the more secure chip and pin. You can let them know that you will switch banks unless they go with the more secure system.

          It would be easier if banks were just required to go with the more secure system (and there has been renewed saber rattling from Congress after the whole Target attack), but you can let your banks know what you think and switch to banks that adopt the more secure method.

    • Wrong. A few things: 1) The space on the back of your card is for your signature. If you write anything other than your signature there, is voids the card. According to the agreements merchants have with the card networks, they shouldn’t accept a card that has anything other than the cardholder’s signature on them. 2) Those same merchant agreements prohibit merchants from demanding a customer’s ID before using the card. Any cashier who does that is violating the merchant agreement. 3) Yes, the means that if someone takes your card and uses it, there’s no obvious way for the cashier to tell that it’s not you. 4) There are many, many other security features in the nation’s credit card system, both seen and unseen. For example, the bank can tell pretty quickly when there are unusual transactions on your card, and they’ll deactivate it. 5) Security is not your (the customer’s) concern, nor should it be. You are not responsible for any fraudulent transactions on your card. Report it immediately and the bank will refund you. It’s quite simple.

      • I had my CC info stolen a couple of months ago. It was an absolute hassle, cancelled the card (have a backup, but still), had to deal with faxing the forms in (no easy task, even with a supposedly responsive credit union), following up with them, changing all of the billing information for subscriptions, etc. It took close to two weeks to get everything fixed.
        I don’t sign my cards. I know that it means they aren’t technically valid, but that hasn’t been an issue. Some clerks ask for ID when they see that there isn’t a signature (the reason I don’t sign it), and it also means that a thief wouldn’t have my signature.

  • About a month ago a guy took a swipe at me on that section of Georgia ave. I was on the way to pick up my daughter at school…broad daylight with people around. As I passed him he stepped in front of me and took a swing at my face. I screamed, dodged the punch and yelled some expletives. He kept moving north and I kept moving south. No one near even turned to look.
    The experience was so scary. I was walking around scared for a month or so. It has gotten better with time and I am not hypervigilant anymore. I still feel safe in Petworth…I think weird random things can happen anywhere but a vast majority of people are not out to hurt others. I agree that counseling is a great idea if you need help getting past the experience.

  • This is pretty awful. I walk the stretch from quincy to taylor on a very regular basis and have never really had an issue. But, incidents can happen any time. Like the others – I’d like to hear the circumstance. Did someone engage you in conversation first? Was there a weapon involved? A threat? Was this actually *in* Wendys or out in front? While MPD can’t be everywhere – I’ve generally found that there are often a handful of cops near the metro entrance on the west side of GA Ave (bike, segway, etc). Get a locksmith pronto – I like Mr. Dinku at
    (202) 486-5827. Polite, and fast.

  • These experiences are scary and it’s normal to feel scared and uncomfortable about what happened – especially around the area where it occurred. In college a group of friends and I were attacked during a hate crime and I didn’t even feel safe returning to that same corner for months. It took a long time, but it will get better. Sorry this happened, we can only hope police response will continue to improve and low-lives who do stuff like this continue to get pushed out.

  • Instead of doubling funding for “affordable housing” how about doubling funding for police presence in crime hot spots? Bowser? Catania?

  • I also emailed the Wendy’s Corporate Office tonight to let them know that I expect them to demand action from the police and elected officials. Or at the very least follow up,with police and/or increase security since the cops can’t obviously do it. I encourage folks, if they have time, to email Wendy’s, Muriel Bowser, your ANC Rep as well as the Police in Ward 4. We can’t tolerate this activity. If criminals think it’s ok to mug someone in the middle of the day, the cops aren’t doing enough to dissuade crime. Being seen and on the ground (not just in a car!) is a key deterrent. Where are the metro cops?

    • I heard back from Wendy’s Corporate office. I would encourage folks to email Stacy Jackson ([email protected]), Senior Vice President and General Counsel, if you share my concerns. Not only did I weigh in with my concerns regarding the incident, but also the general cleanliness and quality of this particular location. To give credit where credit is due, they were very responsive and willing to help.

  • Update – someone else from Wendy’s called me, from a Baltimore number, and could not possibly have been nicer about it. She said that there are security there at night, but not during the day because there’s never been a need, but that they will reevaluate that since this happened. She could not have been kinder!

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