Montgomery County police say they may have a lead on the man suspected in the carjacking and abduction of three older men in separate incidents within a week in Wheaton: The man may have cut his finger during a Wednesday carjacking, a police spokesman said.
“That could prove to provide some good evidence,” Officer Howard Hersh said of the DNA possibly left behind by the suspect.
The attacker used a sharp object, possibly a box cutter, to threaten each of the three men he abducted, police said. In each instance, men in their 60s and 70s were carjacked in the middle of the afternoon from Wheaton store parking lots, driven to various locations as the suspect attempted to withdraw money from the victims’ bank accounts and eventually set free with their vehicles near Metro stations.
In two incidents the victims were not injured, but in a third incident, on Sunday, police said the suspect cut a 77-year-old man and beat him about the head.
In the Sunday incident, the most recent attack, the man was abducted around 2 p.m. outside the Target store at the Westfield Wheaton shopping mall. The attacker approached the victim with a sharp object in hand and forced him into his own vehicle. He drove the victim to several locations, possibly trying to withdraw money from the man’s bank account, police said.
The elderly man was later found in his car in another mall parking lot in Hyattsville. He had serious but not life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The two other carjackings occurred Wednesday and Saturday in the parking lot of a Giant Food supermarket located in Wheaton near the Target store.
The Wednesday carjacking occurred around 3 p.m. in the parking lot of the grocery store, located at 2900 University Blvd. The 75-year-old victim was eventually released near a Metro station and he drove home to call police, officials said.
A 60-year-old man was the victim of Saturday’s carjacking at the Giant. The man was loading groceries in his vehicle when the suspect approached him with a sharp object and forced him into the passenger seat of his vehicle. The man drove to an ATM in Montgomery County and withdrew money from the victim’s bank account. Less than an hour later, the attacker left the vehicle and the victim at a BP gas station in the 7000 block of Blair Road in Northwest Washington and fled toward the nearby Takoma Metro Station.
Police do not know how much money was taken from each of the three victims.
The carjacker is described as a black man with a medium complexion, between the ages of 35 and 45, being 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall, and weighing 175 to 180 pounds.
As authorities continue to look for the suspect, police warned shoppers to remain alert while out.
“As is always the case when you are shopping or returning to your car, keep your head up. Don’t be checking your cell phone,” Officer Hersh said.