Robberies in the Foggy Bottom area increased in December, and Metropolitan Police are stepping up efforts to prevent and solve crimes, an MPD official told residents Wednesday at a monthly Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A meeting.
“We did have three robberies in December, so we were up on robberies, but we had two arrests. So only one robbery didn’t get solved, unfortunately, but the detectives are working on it,” Lt. Phillip Lanciano said.
A man was robbed on campus as recently as Saturday, according to a GW Infomail. The man was at 23rd and H streets when he was approached by a black male – described as approximately 5-foot-5, 140 pounds, and wearing a gray baggy jacket and jeans, according to the Infomail – who grabbed the alleged victim’s cell phone out of his hand and fled toward 24th Street.
Lanciano said in addition to the robberies over the last month, the department has seen an increase in thefts.
“In January so far we have an increase on thefts and these thefts are occurring in commercial office buildings where people were not securing their property, like their laptops,” Lanciano said, warning those traveling with laptops to always err on the safe side and never leave them unattended, “Because when they’re gone, they are gone.”
Steve Dillson, who said he has lived in Foggy Bottom for 33 years, warned the residents at the meeting that he had been recently assaulted and robbed. He said police have not identified the culprit.
A woman who said she was a fourth-year GW medical school student, but did not give her name, insisted on an added security patrol on Pennsylvania Avenue between 25th Street and the GW Hospital.
“My medical school schedule requires me to be at the GW Hospital as early as 4 a.m. and I have been followed by the same man several times, so I’ve been making my fiancé walk me at ridiculous hours,” she told residents at the meeting.
Despite the increase in robberies, Lanciano said the Police Service Area 207, which encompasses the Foggy Bottom campus, has the second-lowest crime rate of any PSA.
“I attribute that to our patrol and all of our officers and the two officers who man the Pennsylvania Avenue third corridor 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Lanciano said.