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Would-be robbers in Washington, D.C., thwarted by St. Louis County cops – from the Pipes and Drums band

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Several would-be robbers proved this week that police officers are never really off-duty.

They tried to get away with the crime in front of some St. Louis County police officers, current and retired, who are among thousands of officers in Washington, D.C., for a national weeklong police memorial event known as Police Week.

Five members of the St. Louis County Police Pipes and Drums unit assisted another off-duty and out-of-town officer around noon Monday who was trying to arrest a robbery suspect, said St. Louis County Sgt. Benjamin Granda.

The county officers, Detective David Sandbach, retired Sgt. Dan Steele, Officer Chris Steib, Detective John Spicer and Lt. Juan Gomez, “helped the other officer bring the suspect under control and waited until uniformed patrol officers arrived,” Granda said in a statement.

“According to one of our guys involved, the individual officer from the other department listed in the post is ‘the hero,’” Granda’s statement said.

The Law Enforcement Officers Weekend Facebook page identified that officer as a man from a New Jersey department.

“Criminals are dumb. They are so dumb, that they attempt a robbery, in Washington D.C., during Police Week, when thousands of officers flock to the city. Officer Jordan Kostoplis of the Hamilton Police Department (New Jersey) and other Officers from St. Louis stumbled upon a robbery in progress. The off-duty, out-of-state officers sprang into action, chased down multiple perpetrators and made the arrests! Great job to all officers involved. Better luck next time to the criminals.”

According to the on-duty police in Washington, six people approached a Virginia man from behind, shoved him to the ground and stole his iPhone X. They then hit him multiple times on his head and body with their fists and tried to take his backpack, according to Washington police.

That’s when the New Jersey officer yelled to the attackers to stop, and they ran. He chased and captured one suspect, assisted by St. Louis County police. Other suspects escaped.

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Christine Byers is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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