Two Robberies in Tunnel Near Elm Street Park
The Town of Chevy Chase reported that two robberies have occurred in the Wisconsin Avenue tunnel near Elm Street Park this month.
Two "similar strong-arm robberies" have been reported this month in the tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue, near Elm Street Park, the Town of Chevy Chase reported in an email alert.
The first incident occurred on Friday, July 6, at 7:45 p.m.: "[Two] suspects (one wearing a bandana over his face and brandishing a knife) approached the victim and demanded his backpack. The victim was punched in the face when he refused to turn over his belongings; both suspects then fled on foot," the town reported.
Then, two weeks later (on Friday, July 20), the second incident occurred at 8 p.m.: "[The] victim encountered a group of four teens. One suspect approached and punched the victim in the face, causing both parties to fall to the ground. Another suspect commented that the victim had something in his pocket; and the first suspect removed [the] victim’s wallet and all four suspects fled on foot," the town's email alert added.
The email alert noted that "[While] both groups had previously been seen hanging around the area of Elm Street Park on the days of [the] robberies, it is unknown if the same suspects were involved in both events."
The Wisconsin Avenue tunnel has been in the news recently because the Purple Line light rail is slated to run through it. Currently, the Capital Crescent Trail runs through the tunnel, and transportation officials are debating whether or not the trail can continue to run through the tunnel once the Purple Line is built.
County and state transportation officials have said that it would be expensive and risky to route both rail and trail through the Wisconsin Avenue tunnel, Chevy Chase Patch reported. A less expensive option would route trail users across Wisconsin Avenue at street level, rather than through the tunnel. Some trail advocates, however, have argued that it would be unsafe for trail users to cross at grade.