“How hostile do you have to be to rob a mother with her 2-year-old who is unloading begonias from her car?”

by Prince Of Petworth May 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm 34 Comments

via google maps

“Dear PoPville,

I thought that adults with helpless children has some sort of security, but no! I was parked in front of my house (1700 block of 4th Street) unloading my car, my two-year-old was in his car seat, and the guy ran over flashing his gun and yelling obscenities. I told him I had a child in the car and he still said “Just give me everything.” He then jumped in a minivan and sped away… luckily I got the license plate and used my Android Tracker to chase the phone around town, and the cops are on it, and we are both safe, so I’m feeling a lot of relief. But how hostile do you have to be to rob a mother with her 2-year-old who is unloading begonias from her car? The guy got my phone, wallet, 200 cheerios and some diapers.

  • Anonymous

    When did this happen?

    • yesterday

      • neighbor

        This is awful. Do you know what time of day it happened? I’m curious because there seems to be an increase in day-time robberies around here

    • Truxton Thomas

      Roughly 4 p.m. We’re on the same block and have an almost-2-year-old. Very unsettling.

  • anon

    Young children actually make you an easier target for thieves.

    This is exactly why I worry about being carjacked (I live in the Hill East area where there’s been an uptick) – what am I supposed to do if I’m walking around the car to get my kid out of his seat and someone comes up to me with a gun?

    Anyway, so sorry this happened to you. I really can’t imagine how scary it must have been.

    • anon

      +1 Sadly, people with kids are more likely to comply to get the situation over with sooner so make better targets

  • AG

    This is terrible. Glad to hear you and your child are safe. I’m a neighbor and am wondering what day/time this attack occurred?

    • Truxton Thomas

      Here’s the alert from yesterday.

      Fwd: S: Crime Alert 5th District (PSA 501-508)
      Alert: robbery gun at 1600 hrs in the 1700 block of 4th street nw. Lookout for B/M, 18-20 years of age slinder build, white shirt, curly hairDO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/ EVENT #I20160305360Sent to 5th District (PSA 501-508) Alert DCSent by MPD CAD #10031

  • AA

    I’m so sorry that you went through this. How incredibly terrifying.

  • textdoc

    Unfortunately, people who are jerks don’t make exceptions for people with small kids.

  • awful

    This happened at 4PM on Tuesday. Awful.

  • Byron

    Normally I wouldn’t have much faith in ever tracking this guy down, but nice job with the Android tracker and the Licence Plate #. I’d be interested to see what…if anything…comes of this.

    • Hill Denizen

      Yeah, seriously. Most people don’t have the presence of mind during something so traumatic to remember the license plate. Major kudos. I hope it leads to these scumbags getting locked up.

      • sp

        This is the OP — they already found the car, which is somehow reassuring. Not sure about the guy yet… But I was really impressed with the MPD response, and all the resources they threw at this case.

  • FTG

    Heart goes out to you! Amazing job getting the license plate, I doubt I’d have enough sanity to think clearly after that.

  • ParkViewneighbor

    After years of relative calm, DC is back to the dog eat dog roots.
    After a while, it’s just repetitive to point the responsible parties and way easier to just go with the flow and deal with it

    • That Man A

      It really isnt though…
      i dont say that to say the current crime levels are ok are acceptable but it isnt back to its “roots” (as far as crime goes) by any measure imo. maybe petty crime but even still im doubtful

  • M

    First of all, thank goodness that you are both safe. We live 2 blocks from here and also have a nearly 2 year old. Rational, or not, incidents like this make me want to start exploring neighborhoods in upper NW, or (gasp!) the close-in suburbs. For us, sadly, I think it’s a matter of time. :(

    • ANC

      I’m in the same position as you, and we are almost definitely moving at this stage. There was a shooting on our block at 3:15 pm in March, and the amount of carjackings, hold ups, and random assaults are just too much. I know the OP and I’m so very sorry this happened to her and her sweet kiddo. No one deserves this, and feeling this unsafe in daylight hours has made me ready to pack up and leave.

    • Byron

      My thoughts exactly. Bethesda is calling my name.

    • I never thought I would say this, but I’m thinking about it too. I love our neighbors, but the end of our block has gotten super sketchy and we’ve had a number of unsettling things happen in the last couple of weeks.

      • Also, OP: I’m so sorry this happened to you and I’m impressed by how well you seem to be handling it.

      • say what

        we are in the same boat. 20 years in DC and the random crime, daytime shootings and robberies is really worse in my mind. But I also have a young kid so I have a lot more to worry about. We are moving in a two years.

    • stacksp

      One of the few reasons, I prefer the more suburban DC neighborhoods like Upper NW as you stated. Generally not as walkable to a bunch of places to spend money at but less random foot traffic and generally safer imo.

      This was a crime of opportunity. He just happened to see someone distracted and ran up on her with a gun. Frightening…If it was not her, it would have been someone else.

    • jag

      There’s nothing wrong with that. One has to be a bit crazy (for better or worse) to live in a neighborhood where being robbed w/your kids nearby is a legit threat.

    • yeah

      If we had the means to afford living in a nicer/safer neighborhood we would be there in a heartbeat.

    • breakingpoint

      Add me to the list of people who want to leave this neighborhood. Bloomingdale/Truxton Circle has seen so much violent crime recently, often committed in broad daylight by teenagers. It’s really disturbing. Residents need to together and demand more resources go to prevention, policing and public safety. Patrol the neighborhoods, don’t just look for individuals after a crime has been committed and someone has been hurt.

      • sp

        +1. We need cops patrolling again.

  • S

    people who rob/assault other people already have very low morals…they probably see people like the OP as easier targets who are less willing to fight back

  • anon

    I heard someone (ok, an early gentrifier) say that when she first moved to her neighborhood 10+ years ago, she was safer walking around with her baby than her husband walking on his own, because no one would ever attack a woman with a small child as there was no street cred in that. That code doesn’t seem to be in effect any more.

    • textdoc

      Did anyone actually corroborate her theory? She might’ve just been lucky.

  • “I thought that adults with helpless children has some sort of security, but no!”
    Why on Earth would you think that? You’re talking about someone who thinks it’s OK to commit robbery, at gunpoint, not exactly a person of high moral standing in society. This is the same type of thinking that leaves their laptop in the front seat overnight. You live in a densely populated urban city with a youth element that is rarely ever punished for their crimes…at no time should you let your guard down or feel like you’re somehow free from crime, especially if you’re also responsible for caring for a child’s safety in addition to your own.

    • textdoc

      Agreed re. being surprised that someone would think that muggers, reckless drivers, et al. are going to make exceptions for small children… but I don’t think it’s fair to equate that thinking with people leaving their laptops visible in their cars overnight. The latter seems like lack of awareness, the former like denial/wishful thinking.
      There was a posting a while back where (IIRC) a mother was surprised that a driver didn’t stop for her and her baby (I think in a stroller?) in the crosswalk. (I couldn’t find it when I was looking for it last week.) It doesn’t surprise me that people who are jerks would be jerks uniformly, without making exceptions.
      It also made me think about those yellow “Baby On Board” decals that used to be popular, and which I still see occasionally. Is the supposition that drivers who are jerks to other drivers are going to think, “OK, well, I won’t tail _this_ car, because there’s a baby on board”?

  • shawsomesauce

    I’m curious to know if anyone ever caught this little $hit. Also, your post inspired me to download the “Prey” app on my iPhone in case something similar should happen to me. Hopefully I won’t have the “opportunity” to test it.


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