On Capitol Hill on New Year’s Day, an unsettling event occurred that had been reported nearly 1,400 times in the District in the previous year: Property was taken at the point of a gun.
It happened about 9:30 p.m., well after nightfall, as the victims were walking in the 200 block of Eighth Street Southeast, a largely residential area near Eastern Market and Independence Avenue, D.C. police said.
In the year from Dec. 31, 2012, to this past Dec. 31, D.C. police reported 1,397 robberies in which a gun was shown, brandished or pointed.
With 103 homicides reported in the same period, the figures suggest that the likelihood of being robbed with a gun in the city is about 14 times greater than that of being slain by any means.
The number of gun robberies in 2013 was 97 fewer than in the previous year, a drop of more than 6 percent. It was, however, about 11 percent more than the 1,261 gun robberies reported to police in 2011.
Robberies, particularly those involving weapons, are often considered a key measure of crime and safety. More numerous and widespread than slayings, they have a strong effect on residents’ perceptions.
In the New Year incident, police said they located two suspects on Eighth Street about three-quarters of a mile away, south of the Southeast Freeway. Two arrests were made. They said some of the victims’ property was found a couple of blocks from the robbery scene. The rest was seized during the arrest along with a weapon, the police said.
No injuries were reported.
Police said they were aided by a call from someone who had seen something suspicious.