Reader Reports Hugo Boss at CityCenter Robbed Sunday Morning

1054 Palmer Alley NW (10th St NW Between H & I)

“Dear PoPville,

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Today, [Sunday] just after noon, my husband and I were leaving our apartment at CityCenter to go to brunch. We typically walk past Hugo Boss and noticed four individuals running out of the store with arms full of suits and shirts and sweaters. A black Cadillac Escalade truck pulled up, they all rushed in, and the truck sped off.

My husband was quick enough to whip out his phone and get a picture of the car. We went into the store and shared it with the manager.

Given how unique the pick-up truck is, and the fact that security cameras throughout the store would have gotten solid shots, they’re confident that they’ll catch the robbers.

Still, though, sad and aggravating.”

48 Comment

  • Actually, the reason I can’t have those nice things is because they cost too much.

  • You’re right that we can’t have nice things. Until DC goes full-on zero tolerance toward crime, from quality of life stuff on up, it will never have the potential to grow into being a world-class city. Far too much BS is tolerated here, from petty crime to government corruption.

    • Oh please, DC has lots of upscale retail–Friendship Hts, G’town, even just over on F Street, you have Alden. It was probably more activity than that store will see in weeks–the stores in this complex don’t seem to have much traffic.

      • Yeah, long term, foot traffic will matter more than crime. I’m very curious how these stores will actually do as retail businesses. It is an oddly high end mix of retail for an “unproven” luxury market. The moderately high end stuff has generally failed in downtown (Benetton’s, Guess Jean), while the low/mid market stuff seems to do pretty well. Seems Uniqlo, TopShop, Century 21 would have been a better fit.

        I get that there are opening several at one to try to create a “luxury cluster”. But, 1) it’s no so big as to be a regional draw AND 2) most of this stuff already exists closer to where the wealthy live in Georgetown, Tysons, Friendship Heights.

        Gentrification in central DC is “affluent” low six figure professionals, not the “wealthy” NYC/SF style tech/finance/trustfunders. The 600 high end residences upstairs aren’t enough to keep these stores in business.

        I hope this works out for them. It would be nice to see DT have a mix of high/mid and low scale retail options.

        • I guess I do not understand why everyone seems to think Hugo Boss, Longchamp, etc. are so high end. You can’t find a two bedroom condo within two miles of City Center that costs less than half a million dollars and you all think people cannot afford Tumi or Hugo Boss?

          I’m wearing a pair of Hugo Boss dress shoes right now. I do not think they are out of the realm of affordability for most people who can afford to live in DC. And every woman in this city owns a Longchamp purse.

  • what an odd target. did they assume it’s a new store and they haven’t gotten around to installing security? seems high risk for what would surely be grand larceny based on the cost of merchandise alone. how much can this stuff be fenced for to justify the risk?

    • You can fence it on eBay for nearly full price. This is actually a pretty smart robbery, from the criminals’ POV: low risk, few witnesses, the employees won’t stick their neck out for a behemoth corporation, and penalties are fairly low compared to assault+robbery of a person or robbing a bank. Each person could easily make off with $10K worth of merch.
      Then again, they built a temple to luxury consumerism a few blocks from Sursum Corda. What did they expect?

      • Take *that*, people who live a mile away in Sursum Corda!

        • They don’t read this blog. If they did they’d give up robbing Hugo Boss and start incorporating development-sounding LLCs, stalking elderly home-owners, and flipping sub-par houses to kids with rich parents willing to underwrite half the mortgage. That’s what all the cool kids do.

      • Now that is hilarious! I guess there is no such thing as a crime in DC that a motivated person can’t or won’t connect to public housing.

      • brookland_rez

        When is that going to finally get redeveloped? It’s the last main blight holding that area down. Once that is gone, I’m confident N Capital will finally get fixed up.

        • I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. It’s a huge development covering multiple city blocks of low-rise townhouses and various apartment buildings.
          If the city was smart, they’d sell Sursum Corda to the current residents through co-op’s (via down payment assistance and 1st time home buyer loans) and let them sell their homes on the open market over the next few decades. That would allow the buildings to become mixed income over time.

  • Once at the DCUSA DSW store I was waiting in line and three teen girls, also in line with their arms full of boxes suddenly turned and darted out of the store with the shoes, laughing loudly as they fled. The guard made no effort to pursue them. Someone here called DCUSA “Iverson Mall North” or something; sure feels like it.

    • brookland_rez

      That’s way over reacting. Unfortunately all retail experiences theft. Stores counter this in many ways. They try to strike a balance and between the cost of theft versus the cost of security measures. DC USA has been open 7 years with more stores opening. So the cost of theft versus profits still allow the stores to make money.

  • Note the difference in the cops’ response between this and all of the stories we’ve seen about package thieves and the like.

    • jim_ed

      You don’y think there’s a difference in appropriate police response to an after-the-fact package theft and an armed robbery in progress?

      • I highly doubt these guys were armed. It sounds like it was a grab & dash, which is very common with high end retail. Adding a weapon to the mix makes for a more serious response by police and adds an element of uncertainty/risk. I guarantee this crew staked out the place, knew exactly which high value merchandise to grab, and knew their escape route. Most likely the cops are reviewing security tapes from previous days to see when they cased the store and their surroundings.
        They probably knew when external CityCenter security was doing their rounds in other parts of the block and timed it perfectly.

      • The only mention of “arms” in the post above is that the folks had theirs full. So yea, it’s pretty spot-on similar. (Well, overall value of goods taken notwithstanding.)

  • By day, the place crawls with slow-burning security men in dark sunglasses and good suits who hit fist into pals and smile as they approach you. Where were they?

    • Very true. I work a block away and have been taking my lunch to the CityCenter courtyard. There’s always at least one looking stern security guy hovering intimidatingly. I’d imagined the high-end retail stores to be as well guarded as the park-like space with nothing to steal but I guess not….

    • The guards are too busy chasing the kids out of the fountains to pay attention to an actual robbery.

  • Not really. If I paid $7,000 for a 3 BR, I’d be pretty pissed to see a robbery on my doorstep.

  • Unfortunately this type of thing happens…including on Fifth Avenue in NY.

    If CityCenter residents and store owners want more safety, how about investing in private, armed security?

  • I have no idea why it is surprising to me, but it is: people actually live in City Center. For some reason I just assumed it’d all be foreign investors. But there are actual DC residents willing to pay $1000 (or more!) per square foot. I just can’t possibly see this being a good investment.

    • The one bedrooms are more in the $700-800/sq ft range. That’s a bit more than other hot areas like 14th st, but not really that far off their “luxury” buildings, especially accounting for the noticeable difference in quality. For the larger two bedrooms, however, $1000ish/sq ft is accurate.

    • Totally agree. I don’t understand what people feel that they’re receiving in exchange for City Center’s incredible price premium. A few soulless city blocks so vacant almost nobody is there to notice when they’re robbed on a Sunday afternoon. Fairly useless retail (say you’re a millionaire – how many times do you want to go to Tumi in a year?). Even if money were no object at all why would anyone consider these lame units?

  • +1,000,000,000,000

  • Their getaway car was a Cadillac Escalade? Oh man, you can’t make this stuff up.

  • While this was a visible, rather high-profile display, retail theft happens everywhere and not just in DC. It was estimated that it cost the retail industry $112 billion just last year alone.

    I’ve seen smaller theft happen in process at stores in Georgetown – as well as a police officer accompanying a teenager who had stolen a number of items from a store there. He came back to return everything under the officer’s watch and apologize to the store’s cashiers. It was a busy time of day and everyone could see what was happening – which I think was the point. I’m not sure if that deters someone from stealing again, though.

    • C’mon. Stop with the logic. Everyone knows that DC is alone among cities in its toleration of crime. Get with the narrative!

  • Police are on the lookout for a gang of very slender, Euro-style men in Ray-bans.

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