Suspect in iPhone robbery arrested

The man arrested near Lisner Auditorium Monday evening is a suspect in a nearby snatch of an Apple iPhone, according to police reports.

According to a Metropolitan Police Department report, two women reported they were walking on the 900 block of 23rd St. around 7:40 p.m., when two suspects came up behind them and snatched an iPhone from one of their hands.

The report indicates that both suspects fled on foot, with the one identified as taking the phone heading westbound on the 2300 block of G St., near Ivory Tower, and the other eastbound on the 2200 block of G St., near the Smith Center.

Not long after the phone was stolen, one of the suspects was caught by University Police officers near the hippo statue outside Lisner Auditorium. The individual was subsequently arrested by Metropolitan Police.

The name of the arrested individual was not available on the MPD report, and the victims in the case were both from Arlington, Va., and appear to be unaffiliated with GW.

The other suspect in the case is described as a thin black male with medium complexion, short black hair, about 5’8 and 15 to 20 years old. He was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

Thefts of iPhones in the area have been increasing this year, with a recent string of them occurring in July. MPD made a key arrest in late July concerning an uptick in iPhone thefts, and police said the suspect could be linked to other iPhone thefts in the area. It is unclear if these two arrests or incidents are related.

On July 19, MPD Commander Matthew Klein alerted 2nd District residents to a spike in iPhone thefts over the previous weekend, saying there were at least six street robberies in which the victim was talking on a phone when it was snatched from their hands.

In May, crime reports showed a growing trend of robberies involving iPhones, though cases of street robberies involving phones were also reported in January and February.

The total number of robberies of all types in the 2nd District during the period of May 15 to Aug. 15 this year is up almost 19 percent, compared to the same time a year ago.

This year 96 robberies were reported to Metropolitan Police, compared to 81 robbery cases during the same time last year.

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