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D.C. residents have come to welcome the arrival of a Whole Foods outlet as an engine of economic development. But the natural-food-store chain’s cachet comes in handy in less orthodox ways, as well. A Ward 3 resident named Anne says that, in late October, she had just put her baby in her car, across the street from the Tenleytown Whole Foods, when she realized she had a flat tire. As she inspected the wheel, a stranger offered to change the tire for her. When she hesitated, suspecting a scam, the man assured her he was a Whole Foods employeea claim the company disputes. She let him change the tire and paid him $10 for his trouble. Later that day, a mechanic told her that the flat tire had been deliberately deflated. Anne called the police, and she says the officer who arrived laughed at her story. “I can’t prove anything,” Anne says. “But I doubt natural forces opened my tire.” Annys Shin