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Pack-Style Robberies Are The Newest Threat On DC Streets

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Marauding packs of young people are terrorizing the streets of the nation’s capital and now police say they are fighting back.

Metropolitan Police Department First District Commander Jeff Brown told a room full of Capitol Hill residents at a neighborhood meeting Tuesday the department’s curfew unit is out in full force to catch juveniles out after dark.

Brown said youths under the age of 17 are largely responsible for a recent uptick in crime, and he’s instructing officers to scoop up any person they see out after curfew who looks to be under 18. (RELATED: Criminals Are Flocking To Capitol Hill To Rob ‘Easy Targets’)

Of the 24 people arrested for robbery in the last six months, just one criminal came from the District of Columbia, Brown said. The other 23 came from across the Anacostia River in Prince George’s County, Md.

“Our curfew enforcement is one of our top priorities,” he said. “We want to make sure we don’t have juveniles running around and they’re off the streets.”

D.C.’s curfew law says that anyone under the age of 17 can’t be out in public after 11 p.m. on week nights and 12:01 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. According to the law, streets, parks, vehicles and any other establishment are off-limits to teens after the curfew, with few exceptions.

According to Brown, these youths are gathering together in large groups in order to steal from unsuspecting victims. (RELATED: Americans Live In Fear Just Blocks From US Capitol)

“It is becoming a trend,” he said. “It’s not lone suspects anymore. It’s not even two anymore. It’s groups of three plus. A lot of them have bicycles, some of them move around in stolen cars.”

On the night of the meeting, First District police issued four separate crime alerts. Three of the four alerts involved multiple teenagers robbing people.

The first crime was reported around 6 p.m. along the trendy H Street corridor, when four suspects, described as black females between the ages of 15 and 16, approached a man from behind and pushed him to the ground.

One of the kids pulled a knife on the man, but he was able to flee before they stole anything from him.

Around 30 minutes later, and five blocks away, a woman told police four kids with a similar description tried to steal her purse, but they were scared off by a neighbor who yelled at them.

A few hours later, and two blocks away, three suspects, described as black males between the ages of 10 and 13, stole a purse from a woman.

The string of robberies doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident, either. On the same night, Nov. 8, a group of eight to 10 teenagers allegedly attempted to rob a pair of 60 year-old ladies on the other side of the city, but were unsuccessful because the ladies outran them.

Brian Flahaven, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Capitol Hill area, agreed that the pack-style robberies are becoming more frequent.

“It seems like there’s been more and more instances where you not only have one individual, but groups of individuals, committing crime and disappearing,” he said.

Capitol Hill residents have been complaining for months about what some are calling the “Reign of Terror.” Police have responded by placing more officers and resources in the area and increasing foot patrols in particularly crime ridden areas.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.