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Alexandria armed robbery suspects allegedly connected to incidents arranged on Facebook Marketplace

Alexandria Police lights (staff photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria Police have connected two suspects in a West End armed robbery with multiple incidents where victims were robbed after arranging meetups on Facebook Marketplace.

One of the incidents occurred in Alexandria on Dec. 20, 2022, inside the McDonald’s at 3510 Duke Street — just a block away from the Alexandria Police Department headquarters — according to a recently released search warrant affidavit.

A juvenile suspect allegedly met with the victim to buy a laptop computer inside the restaurant, and then “(d)uring the transaction, the suspect removed a firearm from his waistband and struck (the victim) in the head,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “(The victim) turned over his wallet. The suspect picked it up and took off running towards the back of the McDonald’s out of view.”

The incident was recorded on a security camera. Police believe the suspects allegedly fled the area in a gray Kia Optima.

The suspects allegedly used the false names Oliver Crown and Steven Walston on Facebook Messenger to “lure victims to a meeting location to rob them,” police said in a search warrant affidavit.

Following the incident, APD was contacted by a detective with the Anne Arundel County Police Department. APD was told that the incident could be connected with multiple incidents dating back to November in Anne Arundel County and Montgomery County. In each instance, the suspect allegedly arranged to buy an item on Facebook Messenger by using a false name.

On Dec. 21, at around 6:30 p.m., the owner of an iPad arranged its sale on Facebook Messenger and was allegedly robbed in their home by one of the suspects. The incident occurred in the 2300 block of Terrapin Road in Jessup, Maryland. The victim was allegedly pistol-whipped and the suspects fled with a getaway driver in a gray Kia Optima, according to AACPD. Prior to the incident that same day, the juvenile suspect allegedly went to the wrong home and his face was captured on a front door Ring camera. He was also allegedly wearing similar clothing as in the incident that occurred the day before in Alexandria.

On Dec. 30, at around 7:30 p.m., two suspects in a gray car met with a victim in Anne Arundel County regarding the sale of an item on Facebook Messenger, according to the search warrant affidavit.

“During this robbery, the victim reported a second suspect… exited the gray car and produced a black handgun and put it to the victim’s head,” according to the police search warrant affidavit.

On Jan. 5, two suspects, one of them a juvenile, were arrested in relation to an armed carjacking by the Montgomery County Police Department. No information was available on the juvenile suspect.

A 20-year-old suspect, Martir Mejia, of Washington, D.C., was charged with carjacking, armed carjacking, armed robbery, assault in the first and second degree, firearm use in commission of a felony, handgun in vehicle, handgun on person, con-armed carjacking (a carjacking without a weapon) and con-armed robbery (a robbery without a weapon).

Mejia’s phone allegedly “revealed a Facebook account that was linked to other Facebook Marketplace inquiries through Facebook Messenger,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

Mejia goes to court on April 12.