Clothing Stolen Again From Northwest Store

Universal Gear has been robbed twice before since 2009

Saturday, Mar 23, 2013  |  Updated 5:23 PM EDT
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Security camera footage captures two men stealing clothes and making their getaway from Universal Gear in Northwest D.C.

Security camera footage captures two men stealing clothes and making their getaway from Universal Gear in Northwest D.C.

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For at least the third time since 2009, a D.C. clothing store had some of its inventory stolen.

The latest thefts occurred Saturday morning at Universal Gear at 1529 14th Street Northwest. Clerk Yeme Mengistu told News4's Derrick Ward that she initially thought a group of people who came into the store were customers, but soon "realized that they were up to no good." In particular, Mengistu said that two youths "were grabbing everything and anything" from the store's high-priced section.

When Mengistu tried to block the door, the suspects pushed her out of the way, injuring her arm. At least one of the suspects ran down an alley toward Q Street, but the whereabouts of both men are unknown.

Universal Gear founder David Franco said thefts have been "a recurring problem at the store" and spoke of his frustration. In 2011, $1,500 worth of clothes were taken from the store. In 2009, nine men snatched as much as they could carry from the store before muscling their way past store workers and fleeing.

"I got the call, I got in my car [to drive to the store] and I thought 'Let's pack it in,'" said Franco. But I don't want to give in to the bad elements."

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