Wednesday, April 23, 2008

MoCO Home Invasions Special Update


Friday, April 18, 2008

String of home invasions targets elderly

by Stephanie Siegel | Staff Writer
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Elderly residents, especially women living alone, have been targeted since September in a series of home invasion robberies in which the victims are tied up, according to Montgomery County Police.

‘‘They have been happening every few months. The last one was in February, and here we are coming to the end of April,” Baur said. ‘‘We want to make sure the community is aware, especially the senior citizens and the family and neighbors who may be caring for them.”

While police cannot confirm the cases are related — three in Montgomery County and one in Northwest Washington, D.C., they share similarities, said Lucille Baur a spokeswoman for county police.

‘‘Primarily, the victims are tied up while the home is ransacked,” she said.

Victims also gave similar descriptions of the suspect, she said. No one has been arrested in any of the cases.

On Sept. 17, a 92-year-old woman was at home in the 7600 block of Maryknoll Avenue in Bethesda, when an unknown man forced entry into her home by breaking a window in her basement at 11:40 p.m. He disabled her circuit breaker. When she went downstairs to check, he tied her up and then ransacked her house, taking personal property.

On Nov. 27, a 77-year-old woman was at home in the 5500 block of Montgomery Street in Chevy Chase, when the suspect broke a basement window to gain entry at 1:03 a.m. When her lights suddenly went out, she went to the basement to check the fuse box. The woman was tied up while the suspect ransacked the house and took property. The woman was able to break free and run to a neighbor’s house to seek help.

On Jan. 9, an 84-year-old man and 85-year-old woman were bound in their home in the 2300 block of 49th Street, N.W., in the District and property was taken from the residence at 12:01 a.m. In this case, there was no forced entry the fuses were not tampered with.

On Feb. 27, a 78-year-old woman was outside of her home in the 11000 block of Picasso Lane in Potomac at 8:15 a.m. when a suspect approached her, physically assaulted her, brought her back inside and tied her up. The house was not ransacked but property was taken. The woman was found two days later, still tied up. Her car was taken, but later recovered by police. A purple backpack containing two baseball hats, one with a Nike logo and one with a Lowe’s logo and an unknown device, were found in the car. The devise is a bundle of large rubber bands held together by a piece of denim cloth.

‘‘The device is particularly baffling to our detectives,” Baur said. ‘‘They want to know if it was possibly put together to restrain someone. It is unusual.”

In each case when the victim was able to a description, the suspect is described as a Hispanic male with an accent in his 20s, 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall with a medium build.

Police are asking anyone who sees a suspicious person or vehicle in a neighborhood to write down as much descriptive information as possible, including the tag number. For a possible crime in progress, call 911; otherwise call 301-279-8000. Anyone who has any information about the Montgomery County home invasions, the suspect(s) responsible or anyone who can identify the rubber band device is asked to call the Robbery Section at 240-773-5100. Callers may remain anonymous.



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