East Precinct officers are investigating possible connections between a series of armed robberies this week, including two carjackings.
The spree of five robberies started when three young suspects stole a man’s car at gunpoint Tuesday night in the 1400 block of South Main Street of the Central District. Police believe some of the same young suspects may have been involved in a second car theft shortly about 12:30 AM on Thursday.
In that incident, two suspects approached a man as he was getting in his car near 10th Avenue and Seneca Street on First Hill. The suspects then ordered the man out of his car at gunpoint before pistol-whipping him. The teens took man’s phone and wallet, and fled in his car.
Investigators are also examining whether the suspects in the two carjackings may have been involved in three other robberies on First Hill and Capitol Hill early Thursday:
- A victim reported being robbed around 12:25 AM by three young men as he was walking north on the 1500 block of Boylston Avenue on First Hill. One of them held a gun to the back of his head and told the victim to empty his pockets.
- Less than an hour later, around 1:15 AM, a man reported being robbed at gun point near Nagle Place and East Howell Street on Capitol Hill. The victim told police the suspect held a handgun to his neck and took items from his pockets. The victim said the suspect was accompanied by four other men and one woman.
- At 3:30 AM a victim flagged down a police officer to report he had been robbed by three men while walking near 11th Avenue and East Union Street on Capitol Hill. The suspects punched the victim in the head and took his cellphone before fleeing. The victim described one suspect as a black male, around 20, with a scar on his face wearing a red T-shirt and jeans.
SPD Robbery Detectives believe some of these incidents may be tied to a recent string of robberies around Capitol Hill, which led the department to increase the number of officers working near the busy nightlife district around the Pike/Pine/Broadway corridor.
This week Chief O’Toole and other SPD commanders have engaged in a series of meetings with federal and county law enforcement partners to develop a citywide strategy to combat this trend.