WASHINGTON — Arc’teryx, an outdoor clothing and equipment store, in downtown D.C., was targeted by a flash mob for the second time in three weeks Wednesday, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
MPD Second District Commander Duncan Bedlion told reporters Wednesday that four suspects, believed to be between the ages of 17 and 25, showed up at the corner 11th and H Streets Northwest in a stolen car at around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Bedlion said they then entered the store and stole $8,000 worth of clothes.
“The common denominator is that there's intimidation involved,” he said. “In this particular scenario, all four suspects came in very abruptly. One of them was holding their waistband as if they had a weapon, no weapon was observed. Let me emphasize, that no weapon was found.”
Bedlion said the suspects then fled the area in the car.
Police tried to stop them during a traffic stop, but the group ultimately continued past their cruisers. Bedlion said the group later crashed the car on the 700 block of K Street Northwest. Three of the suspects got away.
However, police were ultimately able to recover all the clothes and arrest a 17-year-old boy from Capitol Heights in Maryland.
“We are looking at at least one additional case this same vehicle was involved in and we're looking at others as well,” Bedlion said. “So, we're piecing that together.”
MPD released photos and surveillance video Friday showing three suspects wanted in connection with the flash mob robbery on Wednesday.
Anyone with information about the suspects seen in the footage should call police at 202-727-9099.
MPD said four people also stole an estimated $10,000 dollars worth of items from Arc’teryx on March 8. Bedlion said it is possible the same crew that robbed that store Wednesday may have also robbed Atmos clothing store, in a similar fashion, Monday.
Witnesses said they saw 7 to 12 people enter that store on M Street, in Georgetown, before leaving hastily with arms full of clothes.
Other flash mobs have been recorded on surveillance cameras in D.C. recently too.
In January, five suspects entered Moncler clothing store, in CityCenter DC, stole clothes, and assaulted an employee, according to MPD. In March, a group of people stole clothes from the Lululemon, in D.C.’s Navy Yard, two days in a row.
“The retail challenge is an area where we're trying to emphasize our visibility,” Bedlion said.
Gerren Price, acting president and CEO of the DowntownDC Business Improvement District, said it is disappointing that groups are targeting downtown businesses for criminal activity.
“The BID stands in support of our retailers and all affected partners,” he said. “We will continue to work with MPD and city leaders to address these issues."