“assault/robbery on Metro Red line, on Easter no less”


Thanks to Haile for passing on this awful story from the Washington Post:

““I need you to give me the password for that phone and look the other way, otherwise it will not end well for you,” the man was told, according to a Metro account.

When the man held onto the phone, the people began punching him in the face and head.”

18 Comment

  • Props on the awesome cameras on the new trains. They can’t roll them out fast enough.

  • I hope they find these folks and convict them. The video is actually quite good.
    Reminder that nothing is worth fighting over with a robber. Everything material can be replaced; robbers often escalate, and it simply isn’t worth it.

    • I would say rolling over for them makes them even more bold, but that’s not right- fighting back is dangerous and could potentially get you in big legal trouble if you physically confronted them- we’re the ones with assets to lose, right?. I would also say those clear cameras are awesome, except for the fact that I’ve lived here for 14 years and know how this goes- Second Chance series, anyone?
      Bottom line: I gotta get out of here.

      • HaileUnlikely

        FWIW I might fight back sometimes, but these were four young adults, three of whom were average-size and one of whom was f*cking huge (likely all 18+, so hopefully they will be prosecuted as such). Had I been the victim, especially being boxed in in my seat, this is not one of the times I would have fought back.

        • I don’t disagree with anything you said. It’s just a depressing story- innocent people being victimized in the initial confrontation and then again, when justice is not served. Ugh. I’m just returning from a short vacation in a land where I didn’t have to think a million times about my safety and a justice system working to protect the guilty. It takes its toll on you living here.

          • HaileUnlikely


          • Yes, totally agree. Just left in March after living in the city for 20 years (three on the Hill and 17 in Hillcrest/ Ward 7). We are loving living in the Town of Clifton,VA in Fairfax Co.

  • northeazy

    Can someone enlighten me on the value of stealing phones? I do not think these people needed a phone for themselves. Phones of all types can be had for next to nothing. Even the very poor have access to subsidized cell phones. So then I presume they steal a phone to sell it. But who buys a phone like this? It has a password lock on it as the video demonstrated. Is there like a pawn shop or fencing industry for stolen cell phones in DC? How much can an iPhone possibly be worth? They are basically useless once reported stolen anyway as Apple or the phone company can disable them, right? Are the criminals just dumb and do not realize how utterly useless a stolen phone is? Or am I missing something here?

    • they are probably just that dumb…honestly. Or most people don’t carry cash so its the only thing they can get

    • I’m curious about this, too. I thought that when reported stolen, the carrier could remotely wipe the phone and essentially make it worthless.

    • There has been a lot of controversy over this and I’m not sure I’m up to date, as things do change, but …
      Yes, the carriers have the ability to “brick” the phones. No, they do not do it because it cuts into their profit margin if people stop having their phones stolen and then pay to replace them. Legislation hasn’t passed to require carriers to do this because…lobbying works.

      There is a huge market for stolen phones. There were even kiosks in malls as recently as last summer so there were no witnesses. You could drop a phone into a drop box and get back $100-$300 cash, depending on the model.

      GameStop was known to be buying stolen iPhones and finally at least one location was shut down.

    • That’s why the robbers demanded the password along with the phone. Once they have the password, they can go into the phone and turn off password protection, and wipe the phone, before reselling it. A used (“refurbished”) iphone is worth quite a bit of money, far more than an amount of cash someone might be carrying.

      • The phone can still be blacklisted by its IMEI number (basically like a VIN for phones). Do people usually do this? Indeterminate! I had a phone stolen (a wiped phone I was about to sell. non-violently) and did this, but would most people? Also, it seemed like effectiveness of this blacklisting was limited to US carriers. And probably even then not all of them.

    • The “next to nothing” figures for phone acquisition are baking in contracts that amount to finance deals. You get an iPhone for $0-$200, but the phone is actually $700-$1000 new without any contractual obligations. The cost gets baked into the carrier service which you obligate yourself to pay for some period of time (usually two years) or face a steep cancellation fee for the difference. If you want a phone without a credit check and a reasonable amount of money, you’re fairly limited to some pretty terrible or old phones.

  • someone has to recognize these people..video quality is too good..and how was there no reaction from people on the train when it looks like he punched the person? My god I mean I wouldn’t try to intervene but I would do something…..get off and alert police…

  • LOVE the part at the end where they have their “Oh shit!” moment as they notice that the whole thing has been caught on camera.

  • I have found Sundays to be the absolute worst on Metro in terms of safety, even in the daytime.

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