Police were searching for several teenage boys, including some possibly as young as 14 who were allegedly armed and wearing ski masks, after at least 12 robberies were reported in Washington, D.C., in under 12 hours.
Four teen suspects were taken into custody after they were found asleep in a car in an alley off I (Eye) Street SE on Capitol Hill, police said.
“We think that this particular group has been involved in multiple robberies in the last couple of days,” D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said.
Police say the arrests happened without incident since officers had the element of surprise. At least one gun was recovered at the scene.
The arrests come as police investigate an uptick in juvenile crime, including carjackings. The carjacking task force made the arrests, Contee said.
The investigation was still unfolding Wednesday when Contee commented, but he said he's "very confident" the group is connected to several crimes. There may be another adult suspect, as well.
“These individuals, I should say, are known to us,” Contee said. “We’ve dealt with these individuals before, and I think that’s where we really need to focus. Why are we still dealing with the same individuals that we’ve arrested before?”
In less than 12 hours between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, at least 10 armed robberies were reported in the District. Most happened in Northeast, but some were in Southeast and Northwest.
Four males between 15 and 20 years old were sought after an assault with intent to rob was reported in the 5800 block of 14th Street Northwest about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
All the suspects were wearing ski masks and armed with black assault-style rifles, police said.
Four teenage boys, aged about 14 to 16, who were wearing black masks and clothing in a black truck, allegedly committed a robbery in the 2500 block of Naylor Road Southeast., D.C. police said on Twitter.
Another robbery occurred on the 900 block of East Capitol Street Northeast. This time, police reported three suspects in a dark-color sedan.
Four teen boys, two armed with handguns and two with long guns or files, were linked to robberies at 12:20 a.m. in the 4200 block of Connecticut Avenue Northwest and 12:50 a.m. in the 1100 block of South Dakota Avenue Northeast, police said on Twitter.
Five masked suspects carried out an armed robbery in the 800 block of Delafield Place Northeast about 12:50 a.m. Two suspects had rifles, two had handguns and they fled in a dark-color minivan, police said.
Four suspects are wanted in a robbery that took place at 1:10 a.m. in the 5000 block of Sargent Road Northeast. One was heavyset and the other three were slim. They were armed and fled in a newer model Nissan or Hyundai SUV, police said.
The next robbery happened about 1:30 a.m. in the 3400 block of Harewood Road Northeast, D.C. police said.
One suspect, about 16 to 20 years old, between 5-feet-5-inches and 5-feet-7-inches tall, was armed with a long gun and fled in a subcompact SUV-type vehicle.
The other suspect in the Harewood Road robbery was about the same age but fled in another unknown car.
Police are investigating another robbery in the 4400 block of Benning Road Northeast. Police described one suspect, a male who was wearing a black mask and clothing armed with a handgun.
About 2:30 a.m., a robbery was reported in the 1300 block of Parkwood Place Northeast involving two males and two females. The suspects are accused of using force and violence, police said.
A male wearing all black clothes and white tennis shoes was linked to a robbery in the 900 block of Alabama Avenue Southeast, police said.
Four males in a black SUV are suspected in the latest robbery reported in the 2500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast. One suspect had a rifle, police said.
Police haven’t detailed the total number of suspects or whether these robberies could be related.
“The police are going to use every tool at their disposal to find you and hold you accountable,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said.
Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.