- The Washington Times - Monday, October 20, 2003

A home invasion last weekend in Silver Spring is similar to at least three others in which Asian attackers have targeted wealthy Asian families, according to the Montgomery County Police Department.

Police spokesman Officer Derek Baliles said the robberies all have occurred in midafternoon, the attackers are armed Asian males, typically the homes are ransacked for money and jewelry, and the residents are tied up and left in the homes.

However, investigators have not connected the crimes.

The invasion Sunday occurred in the 11600 block of Gilsan Street near White Oak. Police said a woman answered a knock on the door at 2:49 p.m. and four Asian men, each with a gun, forced their way in.

Two women and a man were forced into a bedroom, where they were bound, gagged and put in a closet, police said. The man also was hit on the head with a handgun. He was treated later at the scene by an emergency crew.

Officer Baliles said undetermined amounts of money and jewelry were taken and that the victims untied themselves and called police.

The four robbers were seen leaving the area in a black Honda Accord with Virginia tags.

The other home invasions occurred in Potomac. They were reported on Sept. 25 in the 13800 block of Longacres Preserves Court, July 5 in the 8700 block of Camille Drive, and May 10 in the 9900 block of Scotch Broom Court.

In the Sept. 25 attack, a 72-year-old woman answered the front doorbell at about 1:40 p.m., expecting a cleaning crew. Six men, one with a handgun, forced their way inside and tied her up before ransacking the house.

Soon after they departed, the cleaning crew arrived and freed the woman, who called police. She had minor injuries from being bound.

The woman described the robbers as Asian males, 20 to 30 years old, about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighing about 125 pounds, all with short dark hair. She also said the they spoke Mandarin Chinese; one wore a dark T-shirt and another wore a white T-shirt with red and blue stripes.

“There certainly are common denominators” in the crimes, said Capt. John Fitzgerald, a Montgomery County police spokesman. “Whether the intruders are the same or are with affiliated groups, we don’t know. There seems to be some deliberate target.”

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