WASHINGTON - Since Christmas Eve, the normally quiet Shepherd Park neighborhood has seen a string of armed robberies and car break-ins.
Police officers have told neighbors it may have to do with something the city can fix.
On Dec. 27, Dana Ju's nanny was walking home around 7 p.m. when a car sped up and two masked men jumped out behind her, Ju says.
"They came up to her, put a gun to her head and said, 'Give me your things.' One of the guys put his hand in her pocket, where she had her cellphone. They took her cellphone, her purse and bag and sped off," Ju says.
It was the second armed robbery in the neighborhood in three days. A similar robbery of a young man happened a few blocks away on Christmas Eve.
"The police had told us in no uncertain terms that this is happening because a lot of the streets are dark. You know, there's not a lot of street light," she says.
The city lights on her street came on the next day. However, the other incident and nearby car break-ins did not take place in poorly lit areas.
No arrests have been made in either case, Metropolitan Police Department officials confirm.
Ju and her neighbors are starting to change their habits and be more vigilant, she says.
"Usually, I walk the dog when I get home at 5:30 or 6 p.m. It's dark then. I haven't been doing that. I'm kind of afraid to walk around at night. Somebody could come up to me from behind and I wouldn't know," Ju says.
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