The robbers typically operated in daylight, shattering glass displays at some of the most high-end stores in the D.C. suburbs while frightened employees looked on. They struck as many as 14 times, swiping hundreds of thousands of dollars in watches and handbags from Gucci, Rolex and Michael Kors, according to FBI agents and federal prosecutors.
But after a confidential informant went to police with a tip about two men discussing expensive watches, investigators said that they got the break they needed. FBI agents have arrested two suspects in the spate of smash-and-grab robberies and charged them with delaying commerce by robbery.
In U.S. District Court in Alexandria on Tuesday, a magistrate judge ordered one of them, Walter A. Douglas, 33, held without bond as he awaits another court hearing. Federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of Virginia had argued to keep him locked up, noting his extensive criminal past and saying he was connected to as many as 14 robberies. An FBI affidavit from the case details eight of those robberies.