Metro Weekly

Universal Gear Suffers String of Robberies

Popular Logan Circle clothing store's manager assaulted during third robbery in three months

A Logan Circle clothing store popular with the LGBT community was robbed Saturday, March 23, with two men caught on camera assaulting the store’s manager and fleeing with merchandise.

Saturday’s robbery at 1529 14th St. NW follows robberies Dec. 17, 2012, and Jan. 10. Footage from the store’s security camera shows the assailants in the three robberies using somewhat similar methods: A group of young men – two in March, six in January and nine in December – enter the store and peruse merchandise, then exit. In December, the robbers left calmly, with management initially unaware of the theft; but fled hurriedly in January, as well as Saturday, when approached by a manager.

On Saturday a female manager tried to stop the two men by blocking the exit. She was, however, hit in the arm, pushed out the door and knocked to the ground as the two escaped.

The security footage, which was uploaded to YouTube by user dnfranco64, which may belong to David Franco, president of Universal Gear, shows the suspects to be young men who look to be in their 20s, most of whom appear to be African-American. The channel also includes a video of a Universal Gear robbery May 13, 2009, the day the account was created.

A spokesman from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) was not immediately available for comment.

MPD allows residents to provide police with information about certain crimes anonymously, either through calling the anonymous tip line at 202-727-9099 or texting 50411. Those with information about a crime or the identity of a suspect may also call the department’s Crime Solvers confidential hotline at 1-800-673-2777. Information received through that hotline that leads to an arrest or indictment in a case may result in a reward.

Mar. 23, 2013:

Dec. 17, 2012:

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at