D.C. police say they are investigating a string of unrelated robberies during the past week, in which transgender women were apparently targeted.
The crimes all occurred between June 10 and June 18 along the Eastern Avenue corridor and side streets. In each case, the victims were attacked between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. and all identified as transgender.
The streets on which the crimes occurred are the 300 block of 63rd Street NE, the 500 block of Eastern Avenue NE, the intersection of 58th Street & Eastern Avenue NE, the 5800 block of Nannie Helens Burroughs Avenue NE and the intersection of 62nd Street and Dix Street NE.
Police say they are not currently treating the robberies as related because descriptions of the suspects vary. In two cases, guns were displayed and in others, verbal threats were made.
In the most recent crime June 18, police apprehended two juveniles and the stolen property was recovered.
Debbie McMillan, a transgender community activist, said transgender individuals are often too afraid to come forward to police about crimes.
"Historically, there have been instances where individuals from the trans community have reported crimes and then the police make them feel like they are a suspect as opposed to being a victim," McMillan explained. "One of the things that we plan to do throughout the weekend is to spread the word [these robberies are] going on."
In light of this, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier sent a letter to the community, encouraging any other potential victims to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to call MPD at (202) 727-9099 or to text the police's anonymous tip line at 50411.