While a local governing body held a meeting where community members discussed a violent 7-Eleven robbery last month, the store was robbed again as a suspect who came armed with a knife assaulted a clerk and fled the scene.
The robbery was the second violent robbery at the New Hampshire Avenue store in two days, shortly after a suspect punched a clerk before stealing with $46 and some food. MPD spokesperson Hugh Carew said officers have increased patrols in the area to respond to the pair of violent crimes near GW’s campus.
“We believe that the patrols will increase safety and reduce future crimes in the Foggy Bottom area,” Carew said.
Carew declined to say when the patrols were launched, how frequently officers are patrolling the area and which streets officers are monitoring.
MPD Lieutenant Ledet Williams informed local community members about the “enhanced patrols” last month on the same night as the second robbery and said the patrols would run through ANC district 2A07 – which covers the northern and western ends of campus, including 7-Eleven.
Foggy Bottom has now seen three robberies in the past two months with the crimes at 7-Eleven and a drive-up armed robbery involving two gunmen with AK-47s near Washington Circle in January. At this time last year, two robberies had occurred close to campus south of Washington Circle.
John George, the president of the Foggy Bottom Association, said in addition to patrols around Foggy Bottom, officers have been patrolling inside the 7-Eleven to ensure the premises are secure.
“The patrolmen actually frequent the 7-Eleven, which means they go in, pick up a cup of coffee, pay and leave, and then they just hang out in that triangle at I Street and 24th Street,” George said.
George said Foggy Bottom continues to remain a safe neighborhood, and locals are welcoming the stronger patrols aimed to minimize crime, even though the community isn’t accustomed to a strong police presence.
“Anytime that there are patrols in the area, I think that’s a good thing,” George said. “We’re not generally a neighborhood where we see policemen walking around. I don’t think there’s that kind of necessity. We typically don’t see that only because our level of activity is low.”
George said the pair of violent robberies concerned local residents, but community members should subscribe to daily police reports and install protective security surveillance like Ring doorbells, which come equipped with cameras, to ensure locals will continue to feel safe at home.
“No one wants to hear something like that as close to home as it was,” George said. “So, people are just more watchful and aware.”