Police in Washington, D.C. are looking for five suspects in connection with an armed robbery that targeted diners coming out of an upscale Asian restaurant earlier this week.
What happened: The robbery took place outside Philippe Chow in the 600 block of Wharf Street SW before 11 p.m. on Monday. A now-viral security video shows four hooded and masked individuals emerging from a black SUV, pointing guns at the diners and stealing their valuables before fleeing the scene.
What the restaurant is saying: Philippe Chow, led by the world-renowned executive chef of the same name, opened its 350-seat space in June. In a statement, the Beijing-style restaurant said it is working with authorities in their investigation.
“On Monday night, October 16 after leaving our restaurant a group of guests were the victims of an armed robbery. The safety of our staff and guests is our greatest priority, and we are working with the Metropolitan Police Department to aid in any way we can in this ongoing investigation,” it said.
What police are saying: The incident occurred despite the area’s popularity and presence of security. Over the past months, at least eight armed robberies have been reported within its 1,000-feet radius, according to FOX 5 DC.
“It’s certainly shocking that a brazen robbery like this would happen in such a well-popular area, where police frequent, where security staff are, where there are cameras, so it’s certainly concerning,” D.C. Police Captain Jeffrey Kopp told reporters.
Still, Kopp warned the public to stay vigilant regardless of their location in the city.
“I think we should all be concerned for our safety when we go out. I don’t think it’s in any specific neighborhood more than another, but just in general, people observing their surroundings and having a concern for their own safety goes a long way when it comes to preventing some of these things from happening,” he said.
What people are saying: Workers and residents near the area have expressed concerns for both their safety and the incident’s impact on visitors. The surveillance footage has gone viral on X.
“Pretty alarming to see for sure,” Maddy Knaak, who recently moved to D.C. and works in the area, told DC News Now. “Obviously, you hear stories about this being a pretty dangerous area, but to see something so upfront and one of these nice neighborhoods, it’s kind of scary for sure.”
“My heart hurts because it could put an ugly face on the area which is what we don’t want,” a Southwest resident told WUSA9. “With the security that is invested in the area, you can see police presence all the time.”
About the suspects: Police are looking for five suspects whom they believe to be between 17 and 25 years old. The perpetrators managed to get away with the victims’ wallets, watches and other personal items.
Anyone with information about the robbery and/or the suspects is urged to contact D.C. police at (202) 727-9099. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered.