Series of Crimes in Columbia Heights Put Business On Alert

Businesses owners in a popular D.C. neighborhood are warning employees to use the buddy system at night after a series of armed robberies and other crimes in the past couple weeks.

News4’s Jackie Bensen said two armed robberies occurred in three minutes within three blocks of each other in the Columbia Heights area on Thursday.

One victim, 28, was on her way to work in one of the businesses around 11th and Park Road Northwest around 2:30 p.m. when she was robbed. Police said just three minutes earlier, three blocks away, what are believed to be the same suspects tried to rob a man who was walking near 10th and Monroe Streets Northwest.

A series of street crimes over the last two week, where employees and customers were victims, prompted the manager of The Coup Coffee shop to send an email to other businesses in the area, urging employees to use the "buddy system" or Uber to get home after closing.

The victim of one of Thursday’s robberies said she is extremely grateful to the passing motorist who stopped to help her.

Police have stepped up their presence in the area. Some of it can be seen, and some of it involves undercover officers, but all people are being urged to use caution.

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