H Street NE

Suspect Arrested in 4 Robberies of Businesses on H Street NE

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D.C. police arrested a man suspected of four robberies of businesses on H Street NE.

Surveillance video shows a burglar pushing a safe out of the Jerk at Nite restaurant this week. A manager said he got away with all the cash they made that day.

“Just a little disheartening and worrisome just as far as the safety of our staff members and let alone our guests," the manager said.

D.C. police say the burglar is 62-year-old Walter Barnes Jr. Police said he also targeted the nearby restaurant DC Harvest.

"When someone breaks in here, it’s very much like they break in our house," co-owner Jared Ringel said.

Ringel said they’ve been hit three times, including on Christmas morning.

“It’s been a super challenging time with trying to stay afloat, and these threats have been putting us over the top with stress,” he said.

Officers spotted Barnes in the neighborhood Thursday night and recognized him from surveillance video, police said. He was arrested and is charged with stealing cash, blank checks, bottles of liquor, and several iPads.

“When the officers stopped him last night, he had one of the iPads still in his possession,” said Metropolitan Police Department Cmdr. Morgan Kane, who helped lead the investigation.

She said police are working with businesses on H Street to help them boost their security.

"We want people to feel safe,” Kane said. “We want people to feel safe walking down the street, going into these businesses. We want the business owners to feel secure."

DC Harvest’s takeout window is still boarded up. The owner said he is hesitant to take the boards down because he worries they’ll just get broken into again. Court documents say Barnes was found guilty of 12 burglaries in D.C. in the past.
Barnes was released from jail with a GPS monitor and a stay away order, according to court documents.

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