Robbery spree shakes Columbia Heights residents

An MPD cruiser patrols Columbia Heights after two Monday night robberies were reported. (Photo: ABC7)

There is growing alarm in response to a robbery spree across Northwest Washington.

Two people committed two robberies in the span of only a few minutes in Columbia Heights Tuesday around 5:30 p.m., according to MPD officials. One happened along 15th Street, the other a few blocks away in the 1600 block of Lanier Place NW.

"I would be careful about coming out late at night," said Ashna Methema, a District resident.

The crime occurred where Methema walks her dog. She said she rarely worries about crime.

"That is a bit disconcerting," Methema said. "I need to be a little bit more careful I guess."

It's too early to know if these cases are connected to a series of brazen attacks that have rattled residents in nearby Tenleytown and Friendship Heights.

Police say since January, there have been ten armed robberies in an area unaccustomed to violent crime. Authorities say in many of the cases, masked gunmen approach a victim, take their money, bank cards and cellphone and then escape in a nearby getaway car.

Three such robberies occurred Monday night. One of the robberies was only a block away from Tom Moreno's home.

"It's disturbing because I was just out maybe 45 minutes after that so it could have been me or my wife," Moreno said.

So far, no one has been injured, but residents fear that those terrorizing this part of the city could be capable of escalating matters.

"We certainly changed our patterns," Moreno said. "We are being more careful when we come home at night."