4 teens arrested after DC robbery spree

D.C. police have arrested four teens in connection with several overnight armed robberies that could be related.

Speaking at the opening of the new Shotspotter HQ, Police Chief Robert Contee said the arrests were made just a little earlier.

“I’m happy to report within the last hour, we’ve located the vehicle with four suspects inside of the vehicle,” Contee said, adding that the suspects had been asleep.

“There’s property inside of the vehicle … appears to be at least one firearm inside the vehicle that we can see,” he said.

Contee said the city’s carkjacking task force was responsible for the arrests.

“There are going to be several cases connected to this right now … somewhere between nine and 12 cases that are connected,” he said.

“We’ve dealt with these individuals before,” Contee said. “And I think that’s where we really need to kind of focus [on] why are we still dealing with the same individuals that we’ve arrested before? … They’re no stranger to the Metropolitan Police Department. They’re no stranger with respect to the crimes that they’ve committed.”

There may also be a fifth suspect, an adult.

“Let me just emphasize to you, and to everybody listening, that we take robberies as seriously as any crime in the District of Columbia,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “Folks that are doing these crimes aren’t exactly the smartest people generally.”

“If you’re committing those crimes in and around our stations, and if you’re using stolen vehicles, the police department in this task force will locate you and hold you accountable,” she said.

Officials said more information on the cases will be released later.

The teens were first spotted dressed in all black with masks on Naylor Road in Southeast D.C., armed with handguns, a rifle and a red shotgun.

Police then received calls for nine more robberies involving people wearing similar clothing and armed with weapons.

The last known location of an armed robbery was in the neighborhood of Pennsylvania Avenue SE around 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

See the full news conference below.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter 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.

Nardos Mesmer

Nardos G. Mesmer is an Associate Producer with WTOP News. She works with producers, anchors, writers and reporters to develop content for web and air. She ensures content is factually accurate, clear and concise. She also works on technical editing of sound and revisions for airing of final audio.

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