Fast po­lice re­sponses net ar­rests

Time­li­ness and wit­ness de­scrip­tions aug­ment po­lice ap­pre­hen­sions

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - THE DIS­TRICT BY MARTIN WEIL martin.weil@wash­post.com

Some­times, as is fa­mil­iar to watch­ers of tele­vi­sion se­ries, crimes are solved by dogged in­ves­ti­ga­tion over many days. But re­cent crime re­ports from the D.C. po­lice show that ar­rests of­ten re­sult from rapid re­sponse by of­fi­cers.

The lat­est two of the weekly re­ports is­sued by D.C. po­lice on rob­beries and ar­rests list 23 crimes in which ar­rests were made. Ac­cord­ing to the re­ports, ar­rests in 14 of the 23 rob­beries were made by of­fi­cers who re­sponded to the scene.

One pos­si­ble con­clu­sion is that, as is of­ten sug­gested by law en­force­ment spe­cial­ists, many rob­beries are crimes of im­pulse and op­por­tu­nity. In these of­fenses rob­bers might not have planned how they will make their get­away.

As a re­sult, po­lice arriving quickly and us­ing wit­ness de­scrip­tions to be­gin search­ing may find sus­pects be­fore they have got­ten far from the scene.

In one of the most re­cent of the rob­beries, some­one snatched cash from a vic­tim’s hand at 11:40 a.m. on Wed­nes­day in the area at Sixth and H streets NW, po­lice said.

Po­lice said a man in his 40s was “ap­pre­hended by re­spond­ing of­fi­cers.”

In an ear­lier in­ci­dent, po­lice said a BB gun was used in a 1 a.m. rob­bery July 20 in the U Street NW cor­ri­dor.

Po­lice said of­fi­cers who re­sponded to the rob­bery, which was re­ported in the 1000 block of U Street NW, made two ar­rests and found a BB gun.

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