3 DC men indicted in series of armed retail robberies

Three D.C. men have been indicted on federal conspiracy charges in a string of robberies from January to March.

The indictments were unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday.

Among the businesses hit were gas stations, liquor stores, hotels and restaurants.

The indicted are Stephon Harrigan, 28; his brother, Aaron Harrigan, 26; and Tavarus Thompson, 28. Stephon Harrigan was arrested March 6. Tavarus Thompson was arrested March 18. Aaron Harrigan was arrested Tuesday.

All three men carried out the robberies starting on or around Jan. 1, according to the 11-count indictment. Each man had a different role, wore dark clothing and frequently wore masks and gloves. One or more was armed with a gun and they allegedly used various vehicles, including stolen ones, to flee from businesses after the robberies and attempted robberies.

There are 25 robberies listed between Jan. 12 and Feb. 22, stretching from Northeast, Northwest and Southeast D.C. to Mount Rainier and Silver Spring, Maryland.

The three men were indicted on charges of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery and sale or receipt of stolen vehicles. Stephon Harrigan and Thompson were also indicted on firearm-related charges. Stephon Harrigan was indicted on kidnapping and carjacking charges as well.

D.C. police and the FBI are investigating, according to a news release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which is prosecuting the case.

Executive Assistant Chief Ashan Benedict, of the Metropolitan Police Department, said at a news conference later Thursday that a recent spike in robberies was receding. “There’s a very small group of people committing the most violent acts in this city,” he said. “We’re gonna hold people accountable.”

He called robbery “a crime of opportunity. Folks are going into businesses in certain communities where they feel like they’re an easy target. … They’re not even stealing a lot of money in some situations.”

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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