Crime: Baby Returned After Georgetown Car Theft; Armed Robbery at Sara’s Market; Local Reports

In the first week of the new year, Georgetown and surrounding neighborhoods have not been spared the city’s recent waves of violent crime. On Thursday, Jan. 4, a daytime gun robbery at Sara’s Market alarmed the community and on the following evening along M Street, a car was stolen with a baby girl on board. 

Georgetown winter shoppers were enjoying evening shopping along M Street when shortly after 6:00 p.m., in front of Le Labo perfumery at 3005 M Street NW, a white Jeep SUV – with engine idling – was stolen with a 4-month-old baby girl inside while the baby’s mother was inside the store. After receiving “frantic calls” from the mother, according to police, and an hour intensively searching for the child, MPD reported the 4-month-old found safe, 7 miles away in the Dupont Park neighborhood of Southeast. An unknown person had dropped the child off – still in her car seat – on the porch of a house in the 1500 block of 28th St. SE, apparently knocked on the door, then fled quickly in a vehicle, according to police.

“Safe and sound,” began Jackie Benson’s News4 report on the baby’s reuniting with her mom. “The 4-month-old baby girl reunited with her mother was wrapped in a blanket provided by the very kind and very shocked residents at the home on 28th St. SE.” 

Speaking to a man named José, Benson said he told her “family members [had] heard knocking at the front door around 7:00 p.m. and opened [the door] to see a little baby girl in a pink snow suit sitting on the front door step.” But then he “saw a car pull away so fast it looked suspicious…. Police rushed [the baby’s mother]… to the home in Southeast where the baby was found. They processed evidence and took pictures of the baby. Officials would not confirm whether the car thief left a note with the baby indicating he was sorry for taking the child… Police went door-to-door in Georgetown looking for a business that might have security camera images of what happened.”

Assistant Police Chief Darnel Robinson said, according to the Washington Post, the “child was checked by fire department rescue personnel and appeared in good health,” and “the girl and her mother were reunited.” Neither was identified, according to Robinson, who also urged motorists to avoid leaving vehicles idling and unattended. Police are still searching for the stolen vehicle in the case. 

Just the day before at around 3:15 p.m., Sara’s Market at 3008 Q St. NW fell victim to an “armed robbery of an establishment” by a “suspect [who] brandished a handgun and demanded cash from the clerk.” According to MPD’s Second Watch Commander, the suspect – a “Black male, approximately 5’ 8”, wearing a black puffy jacket with fur-lined hood” – then took “a bottle of wine” and fled “on foot.”  No injuries were reported. From former ANC2E Chair, Elizabeth Miller, The Georgetowner received this photo of police outside Sara’s Market taken by her from her vehicle:

Photo of police outside Sara’s Market. Courtesy former ANC Chair Elizabeth Miller.

Appearing to pertain to the Sara’s Market case, detectives from MPD’s Second District announced Jan. 6 a search for a “suspect who robbed two businesses at gunpoint in the Second District.” 

  • On January 4 at approximately 3:03 p.m., the suspect entered a business in the 3000 Block of Q Street, Northwest and approached an employee. The suspect brandished a handgun and demanded money from the cash register. The suspect did not receive any money because the establishment is cashless. The suspect took property from the store and fled the scene. 
  • On Jan. 5,  at approximately 5:00 p.m., the suspect entered a business in the 2400 Block of 37th Street, Northwest and approached an employee. The suspect brandished a handgun and took money from the cash register. The suspect also took property from the store as he fled the scene. 

“The suspect was captured by a surveillance camera and can be seen in the video and photos below:”

Concerning the robbery on 37th St. NW, MPD’s Second Watch Commander  posted on social media that an “Armed Robbery (Gun)” was committed on Jan. 5 at “approximately 1747 hours in the unit block of 2400 37th St. NW. According to the post: “The suspect entered the market at this location and brandished a black, semi-automatic handgun, demanding cash from the clerk. The suspect then placed approximately $350 cash, $ 150 worth of lottery tickets, and a pack of cigarettes in a white bag and fled southbound on 37th St NW. The lookout is for a Black male, 5’8”, wearing a black tee shirt with a white print, black beanie, white mask, black puffy jacket with brown fur along the hood, and bright red shoes. He also wore gloves throughout the offense. He is being investigated for multiple similar crimes based on similar clothing and physical features.”

First Homicide of the Year

On Jan. 2, detectives from MPD’s Homicide Branch announced an arrest in a “shooting that killed a woman in Northwest, D.C.” According to an MPD press release, on Jan. 1, 2024, at “approximately 1:18 a.m., members” of MPD’s Second District responded to the “report of a shooting” at the 4300 block of Military Road NW. Upon arrival, “officers located a woman inside a hotel room with gunshot wound injuries [who] “died at the scene.” The victim has been “identified as 18-year-old Ashlei Hinds,” of Clinton, Maryland. On Jan. 2, as a “result of the detectives’ investigation, 18-year-old Jelani Cousin, of Northeast, D.C., was arrested and charged with Second Degree Murder while Armed,” according to the press release. 

Ashlei Hinds’s death at 1:18 a.m. Jan. 1, 2024 marked the first official homicide in Washington, D.C. in 2024 quickly putting D.C. on a pace much higher than 2023’s 274 homicides.

Who was the victim Hinds? According to News4, she was a freshman at Louisiana State University home on holiday break. She had served as the student government president in her senior year at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Her mother, Tiffany Falden described Ashlei as “just loving, caring, a great heart, loves children, loves her family… just an all-around good girl. Never been in trouble a day in her life.”

On Jan. 2, detectives from MPD’s Homicide Branch announced they were “seeking to identify a suspect” in the Hinds murder case. “The suspect was captured by nearby surveillance cameras and can be seen in the below photos:”

Recent Car Theft Arrests in Northwest

On Jan. 5, MPD announced the following car theft arrests in Northwest: 

Saturday, December 30, 2023

  • 56-year-old Rodney Corbin, of Southeast, D.C., 53-year-old Jerome Davis, of Northeast, DC, and 47-year-old Willie Pinkney, of Northwest, D.C., were arrested for an offense in the 900 block of 5th Street, Northwest

Monday, January 1, 2024

  • A 17-year-old juvenile male, of Northeast, D.C., was arrested for an offense in the 5900 block of 14th Street, Northwest

Local Reports

On Jan. 4, detectives from MPD’s Third District announced the arrest of a man “for attempting to rob a victim” in the 3300 block of 11th Street NW. According to the report, at approximately 8:17 a.m. on Jan. 3, the “suspect approached the victim with his hand in his pocket as if he had a weapon and demanded property from the victim. The victim realized there was no weapon and yelled for help. The suspect fled the scene without obtaining any property from the victim. On Wednesday, January 3, 2024, 18-year-old Nathaniel Golphin was arrested and charged with Attempt to Commit Robbery.”

Weekly Firearm Recoveries

On Jan. 5, MPD issued its “Weekly Firearm Recoveries” report for Dec. 25-Jan. 1. According to the report, MPD took 74 firearms off the streets of the District over the week. Of the 56 arrestees named in the report, 10 were age 21-or-younger. 


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