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If you’re planning a visit to the Nation’s Capital this summer be aware that crime is up on the National Mall.
Reports The Washington Post:
The green expanse of the Mall evokes many emotions, but wariness has never been one of them. Over the years, the lack of crime has created an aura of safety that allows joggers and tourists, children and couples to drop their guard and stroll in the day and even at night.
That changed in recent days, when a band of robbers used the elm tree shadows to surprise and attack six tourists walking along Washington’s grassy sanctuary under the spell of the stars. It was as if an unspoken agreement had been broken between the underworld and the nation’s icons.
"There’s no question that the Mall has been off-limits to thugs, and it’s no surprise that they found it," said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). "But it should only be for a split second."
Norton, a race walker who strides across the Mall when the sun goes down, was angry that the U.S. Park Police did not double up patrols on the Mall after what happened Thursday. Twice that night, bandits brandishing a semiautomatic handgun robbed a man and a woman, assaulted the woman and fled. A similar attack happened early Sunday.
"You might give them a pass on Thursday night," Norton said of police. "But it was inexcusable to have a third attack on a holiday weekend."
Our publisher lived in the Washington area for 23 years and never had a problem or saw a crime on the National Mall. He was, however, mugged at an ATM just two blocks from The White House (the mugger ended up in the hospital with cracked ribs, a broken arm and fractured cheekbone).