(Surveillance image: Metropolitan Police Department)
WASHINGTON - D.C. police have released surveillance video of two suspects who robbed an 81-year-old man in a wheelchair along with his cab driver and caretaker.
Police said the armed robbery happened last Friday at around 11:33 a.m. in an alley on Franklin Street just off of North Capitol Street in Northeast D.C.
The victim in the wheelchair, Alfred Barnes, is a double amputee who is also going blind. While the thieves didn’t get away with much, Barnes and his wife, Audrey, said they are shaken by the crime.
“Not being able to do anything to prevent it, that was the worst part,” Alfred said.
The couple said they had just returned home after taking a cab from the bank. Audrey had already gone inside when the two suspects approached. In the video, you see them pass by Alfred, his caretaker and the cab driver and then turn back around.
“Here I am blind as a bat, I can’t even see these people, but I can hear them,” Alfred said.
He said the thieves were a man and a woman, both armed with guns.
“I heard them tell the driver, ‘We’re going to shoot you!’” he said.
Alfred said the cab driver gave them $50, but they wanted more, grabbing a backpack and even the pouch Alfred carries around his neck with his MetroAccess card and medical information. He said he tried not to panic.
“Quiet as a mouse because I didn’t want to anger them,” he said. “Because I thought when she reached up and got the pouch, I started to catch her hand, but then I said if I had done that, I might have gotten shot.”
Audrey said it hurts her to see her husband so frightened.
“He was always just rough and big and cumbersome and nothing really bothered him that much," said Audrey. "But this is the first time since he has been in the condition he is in that anyone did something like this, anything to him and he was totally helpless."
The couple said they have lived in their home going on 50 years and never experienced anything like this.
The suspects were captured on surveillance cameras near the area of the robbery. (App users: Watch the surveillance video here)
Police are offering a reward of up to $10,000 in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202-727-9099 or by text message to the police department's text tip line at 50411.