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Reader Reports: “He came up behind me again and grabbed my purse, knocked me down, and punched me in the eye and head six times” Takoma Park PD Warns of “robberies involving carjacking and street robberies of lone female victims walking home or to or from their cars”

by Prince Of Petworth January 27, 2014 at 1:30 pm 26 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

I was mugged today [Sunday] in the 800 block of Varnum Street, NW. The guy followed me all the way from Grant Circle (Webster and N. Hampshire) to Webster and 7th, where I stopped to look behind me. He walked in front of me and I went to the right down Varnum from 7th. He came up behind me again and grabbed my purse, knocked me down, and punched me in the eye and head six times. He then took the purse and walked away down the side of a house and through the back gate. I called the police, and had to go to the hospital and get a CAT scan.

It happened at 12:50 pm.

I talked to the guy who had been out on his porch with his dog when the assault took place (or he came out right afterward; I can’t remember), and he said he saw the guy, knew who he was, that the guy walked past there every day, usually wears either a navy jacket or a black jacket with a Batman symbol on the back, used to be a boxer (because when I told the witness that I thought he used to be a boxer because of the way he hit me … holding his punch, not breaking the bone, doing the exact amount of damage to make me let go of the purse) he said yes he heard the guy used to box back in the day. He is about 6’3″, some stubble on his face, dark-complexion, built like a boxer, and the witness told me he thinks the guy is late 40’s, and seems “slow” to him; not okay in the head. The witness said he would call the police when he saw the guy again. He said he kept trying to tell the police it was an older guy and they kept trying to insinuate it was a young guy. I had the same experience when the officer said in a voice of surprise “YOUNG?” and I insisted he was older, told how he held his punches, etc etc. The witness offered to ride with the police and try to identify the guy and they told him no.”

From the Takoma Park Police Department:

“During the last month or so we have seen a regional increase in robberies involving carjacking and street robberies of lone female victims walking home or to or from their cars. This recent one is the second carjacking in the City in the last month. The other one involved the victim’s Subaru being stolen and the next day, it was involved in an armed robbery in Prince George’s County and a resulting police chase and apprehension. We have had three street robberies in the City in the last month. All of these met the same general pattern; females walking from public transportation or from their cars. Montgomery County has had several of these robberies on the border of the City and the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia has been inundated with robberies along the borders and in the 4th and 5th Districts. In one of the District of Columbia cases, the victim resisted and was wounded. Prince George’s County has had numerous cases as well. Several of the gas station purse snatches are most likely related as well. Often times we see these cars carjacked and then “rented” to another criminal to commit other crimes. As cars are getting harder to steal, the back lash has been to directly take them from the owners.

We have been working very closely with the Prince George’s County Police and coordinating with the District of Columbia on these cases. I know there have been a number of arrests but the pattern has continued. I have requested a meeting with the border agencies for a coordinated response. I want to assure the residents that we have been involved with these cases prior to this event and will continue to do so.

One of your neighbors correctly posted that one should be aware of their surroundings. If you see something out of the ordinary or suspicious, call us immediately at 301-270-1100. We do recommend that if your phone happens to be stolen, that you keep it active for a period of time until the investigators can determine if it can be tracked. For example, in one recent case, officers stopped the suspect vehicle and called the stolen phone’s number. It rang in the driver’s pocket. I also recommend that one of the many Android, iPhone or Windows phone security software that lets you lock, track and erase your phone be installed. You can also encrypt many of your phones and prevent any data from being stolen.

We ask anyone who may have any information or may have seen anything related to these events to contact the Takoma Park Police Department at 301-270-1100.”


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