WASHINGTON — A series of armed robberies and carjackings of commercial delivery drivers in D.C. and Maryland has gotten the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI Washington and Baltimore Field Offices announced a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of suspects involved in five robberies between November 10 and November 17.
Lira Gallagher, a spokesperson for the FBI, said in a release that the crimes include the robberies FedEx and UPS trucks in the District Heights neighborhood in Prince George's County, Maryland, and D.C.'s sixth district. Two of the crimes were armed carjackings and three were armed robberies, according to Gallagher.
The FBI released photos of some of the suspects in the robberies and are asking for the public's help identifying them.
“Carjacking and armed robbery are serious crimes, and the perpetrators of this latest spree are jeopardizing the safety of hardworking drivers and innocent bystanders in our communities with their reckless and violent actions,” said FBI Washington Field Office (WFO) Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono.
With the pandemic still raging across the country, online shopping and deliveries are expected to surge during the holiday season.
“We are warmed up for what we’re calling the ship-a-thon,” Brie Carere, chief marketing and communications officer at FedEx told the Associated Press. “Like everything else in 2020, this is going to be an unprecedented peak season. We’ve actually seen three years of growth in e-commerce pulled forward. So we are expecting a ton of volume."
The pandemic has also changed when the holiday shopping season officially begins. The post-Thanksgiving Black Friday deals are a thing of the past this year, as retailers have spread their deals across November.
“Walmart, for example, took all of their Black Friday deals, and they spaced them out for the entire moth of November. So, every Wednesday they have new online deals. Every Saturday, there are new in store deals,” Kyle James, CEO of Rather-Be-Shopping.com told WUSA9.
D'Antuono says those in the area should stay vigilante.
“As we approach the holidays, when the number of commercial deliveries increases, we urge DC-area residents to be watchful in their neighborhoods, and report suspicious activity to their local police department. We ask that anyone with information about these individuals notify the FBI to help keep the public safe and stop these dangerous crimes," he said in a release.
The FBI warns that the suspects in these cases should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information concerning these crimes should contact the FBI Washington Field Office at (202) 278-2000.