A D.C. police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, described the incident as "a basic street robbery," says the newspaper, noting that the department typically does not name or discuss victims. Penn's wallet and other possessions were taken, the official said. The robbery was first reported by TMZ.com.
In his White House position, it is Penn's duty to connect President Barack Obama with the Asian-American and Pacific communities, as well as the art world. Describing his first day on the job, Penn, 32, told PEOPLE last July: "I brushed my teeth, I did floss, I used mouthwash and then I took the bus to work!"
The White House gig is due to end later this year, when Penn leaves to don his Kumar guise once more, for a Harold and Kumar holiday movie.
Calls to Penn's rep were not immediately returned.