Tuesday was almost a very expensive day for The Fourth Lock hair salon on the C&O Canal after a thief absconded with the business's new laptop, salon owner Arlette Coppock says.
A young man entered the store on the premise of wanting a hair cut, but he quickly grabbed a laptop and ran off along the canal, Coppock said.
The $1,800 laptop was a Christmas gift and contained Coppock's entire business, including records and a client list.
"I never in my wildest dreams imagined that we would recover the laptop," Rob Coppock, Arlette's husband, told Patch.
In an email to Patch, Rob explains how they came to get their laptop back. Below is Rob's slightly redacted tale:
A passerby, coffee cup in hand, instantly recognized a fleeing thief and chased after him calling, “Stop, stop.” Glenn Palmer, a runner and trainer at Definitions, a conditioning gym in one of the office buildings on Thomas Jefferson St., gave chase. Nearly a mile later, after crossing Rock Creek Park and approaching the Watergate complex, the young man tossed the computer into the grass where it was recovered.
About 20 minutes after the original theft, Metropolitan Police Officers Spain and Rios and Sergeant McDonald appeared at the salon door to gather information. A few minutes later the helpful passerby, coffee cup still in hand, returned and reported the computer had been given to a police officer.
According to Rob, the suspect was eventually apprehended on the 300 block of 21st Street NW and was positively identified by an eyewitness.
The Metropolitan Police Department Second District's Lt. Hedgecock told Patch that the suspect was a juvenile, so MPD cannot release information about any court proceedings related to this case.
But Hedgecock did confirm, "The individual was arrested and charged with First Degree Theft and Threats to do bodily harm. The threats charge was added after the respondent threatened a police officer while in custody."
Rob said Palmer's quick action, "Renews our faith in mankind and reminds us that in many ways Georgetown has the positive attributes of a village. Some people care, some people act decisively to help those in distress. There is still a sense of community even for those you don't know personally."
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