Within a span of 17 days, an armed man committed five robberies in Northeast Washington D.C. – all within a mile of each other. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, Abdullah Malik Thomas, 38 from Southeast D.C., was arrested on July 14 by Metropolitan police and charged with five counts of armed robbery of an establishment.
The robberies occurred on the 4000 block of Minnesota Avenue, NE and the 4000 block of Benning Road, NE between June 28 and July 10, police said. The suspect robbed two restaurants on Minnesota Avenue, one he robbed twice, and then a grocery store on Benning Road, which was also held up twice.
Around 4:30 p.m. June 28, the suspect held up a Dunkin’ Donuts on the 4000 block of Minnesota Avenue, NE. Police reports state the man walked into the store with a handgun and demanded all of the money from the cash register. The suspect stole $659 and fled the scene on foot.
The suspect used similar methods in other robberies, taking $100 from Sharks Fish and Chicken around 12:30 am July 2, police reported. The same restaurant was robbed again at 11 p.m. July 8. This time the suspect was seen carrying a silver handgun and stole at least $200.
“Open the register, and give me your phone,” the armed suspect said July 4 when he attacked another Northeast establishment on the 4000 block of Benning Road, NE, police said. According to police reports, Mike’s Market was robbed of $400 and a victim’s cell phone around 7:30 p.m., and then again around 4:30 p.m. July 10. Both times the suspect was described as wearing shades and a red bandana around his mouth and brandishing a long-barreled revolver.
Karimah Bilal a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department told the AFRO July 18 that the case is pending prosecution.
Thomas is expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on July 24.
Officials were unable to comment on how investigators connected the five robberies, and how an arrest was made within a matter of about two weeks. “Unfortunately, we do not discuss intimate details of the case or investigative tactics,” Bilal said.