D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has vowed to increase patrols in areas hit by armed robberies.
Through the first three weeks of 2012, robberies in the District of Columbia are up nearly 70 percent over the same period in 2011, according to police statistics published in Saturday's edition of The Washington Post.
According to the Post, armed robberies in the city have more than doubled compared to the same period last year. Most notably, the paper reports that eight armed robberies have occurred in Police Service Area 401, which covers the northern tip of the city east of Rock Creek Park. PSA 401 recorded no armed robberies in the first three weeks of 2011.
Four of 401's eight armed robberies took place in Shepherd Park, where D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier heard the concerns of neighborhood residents in a public meeting Monday night.
"I was robbed at gunpoint under the light of my porch," said a 65-year-old woman who was robbed of her purse, keys, and car on Jan. 5. "I once felt comfortable. I felt safe. I no longer have that feeling."
The Post reports that D.C. police began deploying more uniformed patrols and plainclothes officers in the neighborhood earlier this month. Lanier said that police are investigating whether repeat offenders and those newly released from jail are responsible for the crime surge. Police are also considering using crime cameras in the neighborhood.