Undercover DPS officers foil burglary in progress in St. Mary’s last night

Update, 3:28 p.m.: In a public safety alert issued this afternoon, the Department of Public Safety offered a few details about the event. The alert also notes, “additional arrests related to this case are expected.”

Original post, 12:14 p.m. In a flurry of police activity that included multiple Department of Public Safety and Metropolitan Police Department squad cars, undercover DPS officers, and one MPD helicopter providing aerial support, two individuals suspected of burglarizing St. Mary’s were arrested in Burleith late last night.

The successful night for DPS and MPD comes after a spate of burglaries and other crimes in the area. According to University spokesperson Stacy Kerr, last night’s incident began when members of DPS’s Community Action Team, who were a part of increased security measures after multiple burglaries at the Medical Center, witnessed unknown individuals leaving St. Mary’s carrying computer equipment and boxes. The DPS officers were plain-clothed and monitoring the north end of campus in unmarked vehicles.

At this point, the undercover officers contacted MPD and followed the suspects to a large SUV parked on 37th Street, just north of Reservoir Road. One suspect was arrested there at 11:07 p.m.

DPS and MPD worked together to canvas the neighborhood to locate other suspects. One resident of Burleith tweeted shortly after the first suspect was arrested that DPS was looking for two men suspected of burglarizing St. Mary’s. Around this time, MPD also dispatched a helicopter with a searchlight to assist the search for suspects.

Within the next hour, at 38th and T Streets NW, another suspect (pictured above) was apprehended by reimbursable detail officers from MPD that the University pays to assist neighborhood patrols. According to an undergraduate who lives nearby, the apprehending officer tackled the suspect to the ground. This suspect was held on the curb on T Street for over an hour, during which time police searched a bag they found with the suspect and discovered a large roll of duct tape among other items.

DPS continues to work with MPD on this ongoing investigation. Several computers and other equipment were recovered by police during the incident.

Photo: Jackson Perry

8 Comments on “Undercover DPS officers foil burglary in progress in St. Mary’s last night

  1. Another failure of the Clara and Vail administration already? This is getting out of hand.

  2. I cant believe they finally caught someone! Every time, DPS always say they are going to increase monitoring, but we all know that never did anything.

    Now, I just wonder if any neighbors called 911 to report too much activity and noise on their block from the commotion of the arrests on a Sunday night.

  3. *You’re. Please, at least utilize proper grammar when being rude.

  4. Well Well Well, it is about time that DOPS does something right. Usually they are breaking up a party or bullying a student that smells of alcohol. But I’m wondering something or at least puzzled about one fact. Why are they in plain clothes and unmarked cars. DPS are security guards with arrest powers only. Their permits say that they are suppose to be in uniform. And about the unmarked cars, I never seen an unmarked DPS car my 5 yrs here. Did they get permission from the city council and chief of MPD to operate outside their boundaries. I understand that caught some robbers but still they are suppose to follow the letter of the law. Is this what we are going to be expecting from DPS when it comes to busting up parties. Unmarked and plain clothes Security guards, why not patrol and patrol the way your suppose to deter the bad guys. This past year and half i have seen things get worse around here, but what i don’t see late at night is our DPS patrolling. They have fancy bikes but i don’t see them, I keep hearing rumors of them sleeping in certain buildings, or watching tv on the projection screens. I appreciate that caught a few bad guys, but i think more can be done but doing one simple thing, patrol, patrol and patrol the way you should be doing, and lock the buildings up. I have seen too many doors unlocked and have told people about it but nothing gets done. That is the real question how did they get in to St Mary’s, you need a GOCard after hours to get in. SO how did they get in, what guard left the door open, held the door open or didn’t check the doors to see if they were locked. Answer that question and i will be happy with DPS again.

  5. While I agree with alot of what you say 1) maybe you havent seen unmarked DPS cars because… well, they’re unmarked. And 2) DPS has become GUPD, which is actually now a fully functioning branch of Washington DC law enforcement, although they are not armed (although this may change, in addition to stricter hiring/training standards to meet levels of MPD… This may not be a bad thing, since DPS/GUPD would effectively replace MPD, and would be less laughable) Anyway… yes, they now have jurisdiction to complete official police duty, which includes plainclothes work, in hot areas of burglary.

  6. You got to be kidding , “haven’t seen unmarked DPS cars because…well they’re unmarked” that has to be the lamest most funniest line i have ever read. You mean to tell me that a person ,any person can’t tell what an unmarked Police or DPS car looks like? And as for GUPD either way it is still DPS, look it up on your own university website. That will never change, and as for hiring people to meet MPD standards, please you first need to go to a real POLICE academy. They consortium of universities is just that , not a real POLICE academy. And heaven forbid you are ever armed. I have seen already what just one of you did last summer when you pepper sprayed an unarmed student. His arrest has been cleared if you didn’t know. The Chief for MPD has yet to put out a memo saying that it is ok for any university security guard to be in plain clothes. If you think of any of think that you are a fully functioning branch of DC law enforcement you better think again, you have a long way to go also you need to get approval from the Chief and City Council.

  7. Looks like somebody pissed on “Mikey’s” cornflakes… First he says that DOPS does something right, and then immediately goes on a rant about why they shouldn’t have been able to do what they did! Uh… let’s see… busting up a party of under aged drinkers… Wear your uniform and identify yourself… Busting up a burglary in progress… Maybe you don’t want to give yourself away with a uniform… DUH! Thank you DOPS for catching these guy’s I’m pretty sure they are the same guy’s that stole my friends (who will remain un-named) MacBook… Hopefully it might be returned now??? Looks like you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t DOPS! Put that on your Life cereal and eat it… Hey Mikey! He likes it!

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