Saturday, September 06, 2008

MoCo Home Invasions special update 9-5-08


Woman's Death Could Be Related to String of Attacks

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 4, 2008; 12:41 PM

Montgomery County detectives are investigating whether the death of a woman whose body was found in her Bethesda home this morning is linked to recent attacks in which elderly victims in affluent areas have been tied up and their homes burglarized.

Police said the woman was discovered by a relative in the 8900 block of Seven Locks Road , in a neighborhood just outside the Capital Beltway. Police did not release the woman's name but said she was in her 60s.

Her home appeared to have been burglarized, and her car is missing, police said. Police did not say how she died. The death has not been ruled a homicide but is considered suspicious, police said.

Since last September, detectives have investigated five other home invasion burglaries that appear to be related. None of the victims was critically injured in those incidents, and all were older than the woman found dead this morning. All were bound. One woman was shoved to the floor.

Montgomery police issued previous warnings that an assailant might be striking every several months. As the attacks continued, police said they were concerned that a future victim might be seriously hurt.

Victims in the previous assaults described the assailant as a Hispanic man, based in part on his accent, police have said. The victims described him as being of medium build and in his 20s.

In the first of the attacks, last September, a man broke a basement window at the home of a 92-year-old woman in the 7600 block of Maryknoll Avenue in Bethesda and disabled a circuit breaker. When the woman went downstairs to check, he tied her up and then ransacked her house, police said.

In November, a man pried off bars and crawled through a basement window of a home in Chevy Chase . The 77-year-old resident said the assailant tied her hands and legs with clothesline. She said she complained of the pain.

"That hurts my knee," she recalled saying. "I have arthritis."

The woman spoke in a previous interview but, in order to protect her privacy, insisted that she not be named.

The man loosened her bound legs, she said, and she was relieved that he didn't seem intent on hurting her. After the man went upstairs, she said, she was able to wriggle out of the clothesline. She said she acted as if she were still bound until he crawled back out through the window.

In January, a man tied up an 84-year-old man and an 85-year-old woman in a house on 49th Street NW in the District, in the Foxhall area.

The following month, a 78-year-old woman was confronted outside her home on Picasso Lane in Potomac and forced into her house by an assailant who took valuables, including her car, police said. She was discovered, still tied up, when her daughter went to check on her two days later. Police said she was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.

In May, an armed man wearing military-style fatigues forced open the back door of a home on Brookside Drive in the Kenwood neighborhood, in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area, police said. He crept into an elderly couple's bedroom, showed them a pistol and tied them up, fleeing about an hour later after taking valuables.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page