Armed robbers strike GW area

Armed robbers held up a student and local restaurant Sunday night in separate incidents that Metropolitan Police officials said appear to be unrelated.

A male sophomore was the victim of a robbery at the corner of 21st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, according to a University Police crime report.

At about 10:35 p.m., a black male approached the student, brandished a gun and demanded his wallet. The subject grabbed the student’s wallet, and stole $150 in cash before escaping in a dark SUV with D.C. license plates.”

It happened within a matter of seconds. He didn’t shove me around, but I did not want to confront him because he had his hand on a gun,” said the student, who requested anonymity.

The robber is described as a black male, 20 to 25 years of age and approximately 6 feet tall.

About 10 minutes after the 21st Street robbery, an armed black male entered Chipotle Restaurant forcing several employees into the freezer while asking the manager to hand over money from the safe, according to a Metropolitan Police press release. The subject fled the restaurant after taking the money.

The restaurant, located on 18th and M streets, closed about an hour before the robbery. Chipotle managers refused to comment about the incident.

The subject in the Chipotle robbery is between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet in height, and was seen wearing a ski mask, gray jacket and green pants.

Although the suspects from the two robberies have similar descriptions, MPD officials do not have any evidence that proves the incidents are linked.

While robbers do not seek to target students, they are often attracted to largely populated areas such as college campuses, said Officer Kenneth Bryson, of MPD’s Public Information Office.

“This does not mean that you are an automatic crime victim, but you need to be mindful of the hours you are walking outside,” he said.

Robberies typically increase during the spring and summer due to warmer weather that draws more people and events outdoors, Bryson added.

UPD Inspector Ross Trimarchi said students should utilize the 4-RIDE escort service late at night when walking through campus. He also suggested that students avoid going to ATMs at night, which increases their chances of being robbed.

“Students are not targeted because of the fact that they are students. Students are robbed because a criminal surmises the specific situation, and then feels comfortable enough to attack,” Trimarchi said. “This fact applies to everyone, not just students.

The student who was robbed said he was “still shaken after the incident.”

“(E)ventually I will get to a point where I feel comfortable walking alone. I just have to be very aware of my surroundings,” said the student, who did not sustain any injuries.

Many students said the robbery of Chipotle, a popular spot among GW community members, would not prevent them from eating at the restaurant in the future.

“I will continue to eat at Chipotle because you take that risk any where you eat; it is not more or less dangerous that any other restaurant,” sophomore Lindsay Blum said.

“I eat at Chipotle about once a week, and I am not about to stop because of one incident, especially since it occurred after hours,” freshman Mike Zeeck said.

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