D.C.: 4,200 robberies reported citywide in 2012

Three robberies Wednesday night in the District are just the latest example of how bad robberies have gotten and the criminals are getting more violent.

“I was scared,” says Grecia Hernandez, who is still shaken after he elderly neighbor was robbed at gunpoint in the foyer of their apartment building in Northwest around 8:30 p.m.

Hernandez says the gunman, who somehow got into the building, grabbed the elderly man and slammed him against the front door of their apartment. She says her 23-year-old sister thought someone was knocking at the door.

“My sister opened the door and the guy was like ‘Get back!’” she says.
The man got away.

The attack on Newton Street in Columbia Heights was one of at least three armed robberies in the city just Wednesday night. On Thursday afternoon, there were three purse-snatchings across the city in less than two hours.

"I all of a sudden heard a woman screaming 'Open the door! Open the door!" says Gail Brandenburg.

On Randolph Street NE, a 32-year-old woman was walking home from the Metro when she reports two men came out of the alley and pulled out a shot gun. She threw her purse at them and ran away.

"It’s scary to be afraid for your person and to be afraid to walk the streets,” says Brandenburg.

The latest stats from D.C. Police show there have been more than 4,200 robberies this year, which is just about equal to the number of robberies citywide in 2011.

At 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, police say a man was robbed at gunpoint at 8th and E streets NE, just six blocks from the apparent robbery and murder of 28-year-old Jason Emma on Capitol Hill early Christmas Eve.

“It just worries me a lot that it might happen to me because it is happening more and more in this neighborhood,” says Meeka Cousin, a resident.

MPD Chief Cathy Lanier says the robberies could be gang-related.