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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Thursday, December 15, 2016

District Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison For Home Invasion in Northwest Washington

Defendant Used Victim's Debit Cards Soon After Burglary

            WASHINGTON – Tremaine McDowell, 34, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a 33-month prison term on charges stemming from a home invasion that took place earlier this year in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            McDowell was found guilty by a jury in October 2016 of second-degree burglary and felony credit card fraud. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was sentenced today by the Honorable Zoe Bush. Upon completion of his prison term, he will be placed on one year of probation.

            According to the government’s evidence, at about 3:30 a.m. on March 13, 2016, the victim went to sleep in his apartment in the 800 block of Quincy Street NW. He left his door unlocked. The victim woke about 8 a.m. to find that two laptops were missing from his apartment and three debit cards had been taken from his wallet.

            The victim reported the burglary to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and as police were investigating, he began receiving fraud alerts from his banks. As it turned out, his three debit cards were used nearby, between 8 and 9 a.m. at a 7-Eleven, a Safeway, and at the Georgia Avenue / Petworth Metro Station. Security footage from each location showed the same person, in a red jacket, making purchases using the victim’s debit cards. At Safeway, the man also used a Safeway Rewards card, in the name of Tremaine McDowell, along with the victim’s debit card.

            Several days later, a 7-Eleven employee notified detectives that he had seen the purchaser again, and when MPD detectives canvassed, they saw McDowell outside the Safeway. Detectives approached and spoke with him, ultimately putting him under arrest. McDowell was found to be in possession of a key fob that was used to access the victim’s apartment building on the night of the burglary, and key fob records specifically indicate that the fob was used to access the victim’s floor about two hours before the first debit card transaction took place.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Criminal Investigator Tommy Miller and Litigation Technology Specialist Ron Royal. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sonali Patel and Michael Romano, who prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
Updated December 15, 2016