Friday, May 09, 2008

WashPost catches up

I reported this trend back a few weeks ago - you read it here first!


Couple Attacked in Chevy Chase Home Invasion

By Dan Morse and Debbi Wilgoren
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 7, 2008; 11:13 AM

A gunman tied up an older couple and stole items from their Chevy Chase home early this morning, and police said they attack may be related to four similar home invasions that have taken place in the past eight months.

Police squad cars and a helicopter searched the stately Kenwood section of Chevy Chase for hours after the attack was reported about 5:40 a.m., hoping to locate the gunman.

Lt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesman, said the couple described their attacker as a Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s who is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds -- a description matching that of the suspect in the earlier burglaries. The man reportedly wore green army fatigues in this morning's attack and covered his face with a bandanna.

The couple told police they were awakened by the gunman about 2:30 a.m. in their home on Brookside Drive, about two blocks off of River Road. The gunman bound them and struck the woman at some point, police said.

Investigators believe the gunman entered the house from the rear, Starks said, but he did not provide details about whether a door or window had been left open, or whether the man forced entry into the residence.

The assailant is believed to have ransacked the house, stolen an unknown number of items and fled, police said. Within hours, the couple had wriggled loose from their restraints and called police. Police said the victims appear to be in their 70s and were not seriously injured.

Starks said the details of the attack paralleled some details of home invasions police are investigating in Bethesda in September; Chevy Chase in November; Northwest Washington in January; and Potomac in February. Each of those attacks targeted people in their 70s or older; all but one occurred late at night or shortly after midnight. Police have not mentioned the use of a gun in the earlier attacks.

In the February incident, a 78-year-old woman was outside her house shortly after 8 a.m. when a man approached her, assaulted her, tied her up inside the house and stole property from her, police said. The woman remained bound for nearly two days, until her daughter stopped by her house and found her.

"We are looking at these as a group," Stark said, adding that the attacker is putting his victims at potentially great risk by leaving them unable to call for help.

The burglary, and resulting search for the suspect this morning, drew the attention of neighbors in the leafy, affluent community.

"I didn't know Montgomery County owned so many squad cars," said Bob Shaffer, president of the Kenwood Citizens Association, as he surveyed the scene outside the large red brick house about 8 a.m.

Shaffer said the victims of the attack are well known in the neighborhood and participate frequently in community events.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page