A woman who was driving for Amazon Flex, making deliveries to make ends meet, became a crime victim last Saturday when thieves stole her car and her livelihood all at once in Southeast D.C.
“I was so frightened, I didn’t know if they were gonna kill me. I didn’t know if they had weapons,” Joni Ealley said.
It happened at an apartment building on First Street in the Bellevue neighborhood in the District.
She took the groceries to the door, and then two young people wearing masks walked up.
“I asked them if they could open the door for me,” Ealley said. “They did and as soon as I walked inside, they pushed me down and started demanding my keys.”
At first, she didn’t want to give up the keys to her 2012 Acura TSX, but decided it wasn’t worth getting hurt – or worse.
She said the robbers punched her in the face and kicked her.
“My first instinct is like, no you can’t have my car, but then when they punched me it kind of snapped out of it. Like, I’m not gonna lose my life over my car. So I was like, ‘Here, please take the keys, go,’” she said.
Ealley was the victim of a growing crime trend. In the District, 988 cars have been stolen so far this year. By comparison, there were 852 cars stolen at this point in 2021. That represents a 16% increase.
And while the crime is not a carjacking, it’s being investigated by a carjacking task force.