8 thoughts about this robbery at a Moncler store in Washington, D.C., that has me befuddled

OPINION: I have never quite seen a robbery as casual—or amusing—as this one.

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(Screenshot: @WashingtonianProbs)

One of my favorite Instagram accounts is Washingtonian Problems (@washingtonianprobs). It’s one of those accounts that relentlessly posts articles, memes and news stories about all manner of shenanigans and foolywang in the Washington, D.C., area (some of you, and some of us, refer to it as the DMV; I hate that term). It’s not a news account, but you can find out about lots of things happening in the city by clicking that follow button (for the record, I have no affiliation with it). I’m sure most major cities have some sort of (if not several) social media accounts that do the same. 

So why am I sharing about this social media account that isn’t mine? Well, this morning, while making my usual Instagram rounds, I happened upon a post about a robbery that happened at the Moncler store at CityCenterDC on Wednesday night. CityCenterDC is this mixed-use area near Chinatown that has offices, condos and a lot of high-end retail stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Boss, Burberry, etc. And, of course, a Moncler store. 

Moncler, as you may know, is an apparel brand but most of us who know Moncler know them for their winter coats. Apparently—I don’t own one (yet)—they’re a popular winter coat amongst the folks with beaucoup disposable income. For instance, I went to their website and looked up the outerwear sorted from the lowest price to the highest, and the lowest-priced item starts at $770. Like I said, beaucoup disposable income. So one might understand that if you really want a Moncler jacket and you don’t have beaucoup disposable income, you might have to crime it to get it, which brings us back to our robbery on Wednesday night. To fully understand my befuddlement and the source of my questions, you REALLY need to watch this roughly 15-second clip, the second slide on this post by Washingtonian Problems. 

I haz questions, and I’m sure you do. Let’s ask them together!

1. What in blue blazes is happening here? This is the calmest robbery I’ve ever seen.

When I saw the post about a robbery at the Moncler store, I more or less assumed it was a smash-and-grab job. But then I read about the time it happened, and I was like, “Wait, it was OPEN then.” So these folks smashed and grabbed during work hours? But it ain’t even that. I’ve never seen a robbery where folks knew they were being robbed so unchaotically. And it’s not to say that I’ve seen a ton of robberies—though I have seen more than my fair share—but this is rather…controlled?

2. Were the robbers intending to rob Moncler that day?

Look at how the woman is dressed; that is NOT robbery apparel. I can’t tell what the dude who runs out is wearing, but it doesn’t look like he would be wearing black Air Force 1s. Her outfit and mace (more on this later) kind of looks like maybe they were out to dinner and while on their walk along the promenade, maybe even holding hands and singing songs from Encanto, then looked at Moncler, then looked at each other and were like, “Robbery? Robbery.” 

3. Were the staff and shoppers held at bay by mace??? 

As the loudly attired female robber continued her robbery spree and moseyed on out the door, she sprayed mace in the direction of a very pissed employee (?) or “security” guard. Was that all it took to run up in there and come out with tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise? Mace? 

4. Where was security? 

So this is one of those questions that really need answers. I’ve been to CityCenter many a time, and while maybe each store doesn’t have Seal Team 6 standing guard, I feel like most stores have some sort of security; it is a high-end shopping district and all. But like, again, this was not some guns blazing robbery; this was a couple who ran up in there and took shit off the racks and then…left. Pissed Store Employee pounded the glass and ran after them, kinda sorta, but like, was there NO security anywhere? At stores whose on-rack inventory probably has to be worth over $100,000? I think we call that a blind spot.

5. Was this an inside job? 

I mean, the question HAS to be asked, right? This shit is too…calm and chill. Them robbers didn’t even look professional. The woman, AGAIN, was not dressed to crime ANYBODY. She was wearing a loud-ass yellow headwrap. Thank God she was wearing a mask—I guess Mayor Bowser’s mask mandate is working—but everybody who saw them after would remember seeing them because she was dressed in noticeable shit and had a bunch of shit in her hand and was…walking “briskly.” If you found out today that the whole thing was a setup, would you be surprised? I wouldn’t. 

6. Who was the person filming? They have nerves of steel.

So, I know we all break out our phones when odd things happen nowadays, but do you know how unafraid of the consequences you have to be to break out your phone and record folks ROBBING a store? This leads me to believe that no gun was present. Perhaps the dude had the hammer, so the filmmaker waited until he left, but we even get the closeup action at one point. The phone wasn’t even jumping up and down. I’m just saying—filming a robbery in a calm manner? Not typical, fam. Not typical. 

7. Did the lady robber really get a yellow jacket to match her headwrap? 

It’s been a while since I committed a robbery (just kidding, I would never, well I suppose I shouldn’t say never; let’s move on) but do people really, in the moment, make decisions about what’s being stolen? I’d really like my robbers to weigh in here; do you go in and stand there and think about it and look for certain items? Or do you go back to get that thing you noticed out of the corner of your eye like she did? It seemed like they had a pretty good haul already, but I suppose if you really aren’t concerned with being caught, you get what you want, not just what you can get. Whew, chile.

8. Is Store Employee Dude still employed? 

I really want to know this one. Real talk, I almost went there today just to be messy. Then I realized I wasn’t about to buy anything, and I’m sure they’re on high alert now, so I decided against it and bought a six-roll of tape off Amazon.


Panama Jackson theGrio

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black things and drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).

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