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IPhone Mugging Victim Speaks

MPD battling rise in street crime in 2012

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One woman robbed of her iPhone at this intersection, 14th and Church streets NW, says she thought the police should have done more to help after she found her iPhone case discarded near the scene.
Armando Trull
One woman robbed of her iPhone at this intersection, 14th and Church streets NW, says she thought the police should have done more to help after she found her iPhone case discarded near the scene.

D.C.'s Ward 3 residents will get a briefing tonight from Police Chief Cathy Lanier and D.C. Council member Mary Cheh  on efforts to curtail a wave of street robberies. 

Ward 3 has seen a string of street crimes, mostly targeting pedestrians, in recent weeks; but across the city, violent crime is up significantly from the same period of time last year.

One of the earliest victims of the recent rash of crimes, who asked to be identified only as Judy, says she was mugged by four men in October. Judy was attacked at the corner of 14th and Church streets NW, which is a busy corner near D.C.'s U Street and Logan Circle neighborhoods. 

"I had that eerie feeling all of a sudden that they were too close and the next thing I knew someone had grabbed my right arm which was holding my iPhone, and someone else put their other arm around my neck," Judy says. 

Detectives treated it as a routine crime, she says. "There were comments such as, 'well it's really fortunate for you that you didn't get assaulted or raped," she says.

A few days later, Judy found her discarded iPhone case near the crime scene, so she put it in a plastic bag and called the detectives to see if they wanted to see if there were any fingerprints or any other evidence.

There was "no response whatsoever," she says.

Four months later, robberies like Judy's are almost a daily occurrence throughout the District. City leaders are meeting with residents of some neighborhoods, and arrests are being made -- but not Judy's muggers.

"That's been extremely frustrating, especially when I heard that they had just busted a gang of people for stealing iPhones in Tenleytown," she says as she stands near the scene of her mugging. "I mean, is this area not important?"

The Ward 3 crime meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. at Deal Middle School.

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