“A woman with a very young baby in a carrier had her wallet and phone snatched…it was inspiring to witness the fearless tenacity of some of our neighbors”

From the New Hill East listserv Thursday:

“I wanted to send thanks out to the amazing people who chased down a robber at Lincoln Park this afternoon.

A woman with a very young baby in a carrier had her wallet and phone snatched. The thief took off across the park, pursued by at least 2 people on foot. Confronted by another pedestrian outside P&C Market where the first pursuers caught up to him, he handed over the things he had stolen. He then tried to get away with the young woman he had originally been walking with. At that point a jogger with a dog accosted him and kept him company until the police arrived and took him into custody.

With all the recent assaults and fear in the air, and as someone who wasn’t quite sure what to do when a crime was playing out just across the street, it was inspiring to witness the fearless tenacity of some of our neighbors. Thank you!”

25 Comment

  • DC CapHill

    Awesome! That’s exactly the kind of happy ending and community response I long to see on POP. I know there will always be the personal safety experts saying not to pursue, just the Police advise, or the Internet Lawyers ready to tell you all the charges you “potentially” face by involving yourself in something like this, but COME ON.

    “A woman and very young baby……”

    Honestly, the perp should consider himself lucky the didn’t dish out a little extra reminder not to try that again, because the Police arrived.

    • One of the things I like about Capitol Hill– neighbors are often willing to go to great lengths to help each other out!

  • justinbc

    Fear in the air? I’m glad I’m not breathing that when I run through Lincoln Park.

  • Yay for good samaritans! Honestly, anyone who would steal from someone with a baby would probably have no qualms taking down an old person or something, as well.

    • justinbc

      I’m just curious, if you’re putting yourself in the mindset of a criminal, why anyone at all would be exempt as a target, especially a woman or someone elderly, who are much more likely to be an easy mark.

      • Because criminals are human beings too, and most people, including many criminals, aren’t complete psychopaths or nihilists. Most people rationalize their actions to fit into some sort of moral code, and women with children and the elderly are so deeply ingrained across most cultures as “off-limits” that, even if someone is willing to commit petty theft, it doesn’t mean they’re willing to target everyone. Really, that’s kind of like asking, “Putting yourself in the mindset of a criminal, why didn’t the kid just murder the lady and her child?”

        • justinbc

          It’s not really the same at all. If his goal was to steal something then murdering the person as well would be completely unnecessary, but he would presumably want the easiest target possible. Clearly this person did target a woman with a child, so does that make them a “complete psychopath” in your mind?

        • Emmaleigh504

          The elderly get taken advantage of all the time! Phone/email scams galore target the elderly. Criminals are looking for the easy mark.

  • Capitol Hill is one of the best neighborhoods in the city. I love this story. Stick together, people.

  • I’m assuming the perp was 13 years old. If it was a hardened, older, experienced criminal there’s no way they would allow a citizen’s arrest to take place without throwing a few punches.

    • He was young for sure, my guess is 17-19yrs old. Girl with him looked younger. Yes it seemed to me it was amateurish but the fact that he really didn’t even try to get away after giving up the stolen items disturbs me. He was smiling about it when he was on 12th SE.

      • Smiling was in all likelihood a defense mechanism. Like when a kid gets caught by their parents and knows there’s nothing they can say/do.

        • Well if he tries anything like this again I for one hope somebody wipes that defense mechanism off his face

      • He was smiling bc he was probably underage and there will be no real penalty. #softoncrime

  • Way to go neighbors! And kudos to everyone involved for having the self-restraint not to knock the living daylights out of this perp (who is probably already back out on the streets…)

  • Damn! Talk about a “Feel Good Friday” type of post! I hope someone bought all of them a round of drinks!

  • Yeah, but what happened to the thief? Did they arrest him or slap his hand and let him go?

    • I was just in Rio de Janiero where crimes like this (elderly, women with kids) are rampant. I heard one story of vigilante justice where a crowd fed up with all the petty theft in Rio killed the thief. Dragged him off and pummelled him to death.

      • Yep, they don’t play down there. There was an embarrassing scandal in the ’80s in which the local shopkeepers were caught paying the police to kill local criminals and dispose of their bodies. There were lots of takers, and all were happy. For a while. (Except the criminals.)

    • I can’t think of a scenario where MPD wouldn’t arrest someone — juvenile or not — for robbery. The “slap on the wrist” may come later, from a judge or a jury, if it gets that far. The discretion to arrest or not arrest is usually used for crimes against the community, like disorderly conduct, smoking marijuana in public, or other low level misdemeanor.

  • DC1

    and my wife wonders why I carry a baton in our daughter’s stroller…

  • I do not think accosted means what you think it means.

    • erm … why do you say that? I wasn’t there so, you know, I don’t know what exactly the jogger did but accosting the kid could totally have worked. and just for clarity’s sake: I mean walking up and shouting right at him.

      you don’t need to put someone in a headlock to persuade them it’s a bad idea to run away.

  • Stupid choice of location. With all the joggers in Lincoln Park there is sure to be someone that can outrun the thief (and I bet that person was thrilled they could put their hobby to practical use!).

  • Aglets

    i love my neighborhood

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