Washington, DC – DC police are searching for gang of men involved with a series of at least six kidnappings and robberies in the nation’s capital in the past week.
The attacks began on Aug. 24 on Corcoran St., NW and spread across the city, WUSA reported.
Police said there are three or four men in the group who have forced their victims into cars in five different locations in Northwest and also on Capitol Hill.
The kidnappers bound their victims’ hands using zip ties and blindfolded them before driving to multiple ATM locations to extract money from their accounts, WUSA reported.
Police said the suspects also stole the victims’ cell phones and wallets before dumping them off in a “secondary location,” WRC reported.
All of the victims were single men out by themselves when they were grabbed.
Police said there had been six attacks over a span of five days, including three in the early hours of Saturday morning near Logan Circle, WUSA reported.
Most of the kidnappings have occurred in the middle of the night but one man was kidnapped at 10:30 pm. on Aug. 24 and another at 11 p.m. on Aug. 25.
The victims have been assaulted by their kidnappers and at least one victim was pistol-whipped during the attack, WUSA reported.
“It’s very unusual to have anyone kidnapped, which is exactly what they’re doing — taking people and putting them in a vehicle,” DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Commander John Haines told reporters at a press briefing on Aug. 30. “In at least three of the cases, they’ve used what’s described as zip ties to tie the individuals’ hands together. And they’re blindfolding them.”
Commander Haines advised potential victims to give the gang what they wanted should they be attacked, WUSA reported.
He said police were concerned that the violence would escalate.
“Give them what they ask for,” Commander Haines said. “Don’t fight them. They are armed with a handgun. We don’t want to see anyone hurt.”
One of the victims told WRC that he thought the kidnappers were going to kill him.
The victim said he was in a bike lane when the group approached him.
He said the men pointed a gun at him, pulled a shirt over his head, and then held him down in the backseat of a car while they burned him with a lighter, WRC reported.
Police have recovered a Nissan Rogue they believed the kidnappers were using in their escapades and said it had been stolen in a carjacking in Prince George’s County earlier this month, WUSA reported.
In cities such as Mexico City, Lima, Peru, and Bogota, Columbia, such kidnappings and robberies are so common that they’re called “express kidnappings” or “millionaire tours.”
Security cameras across the city have captured video of the kidnappers and authorities have shared the images, WRC reported.
Police have offered a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to arrest in the attacks, WUSA reported.