- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 7, 2003

The wife of Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, was abducted at knife point from the couple’s home in Great Falls, Va., yesterday morning but later released unharmed, Fairfax County police and spokesmen for the senator said.

Police said Kathleen Gregg, 52, returned to her house about 9:30 a.m. to find two men waiting inside. One drew a knife and demanded cash, said Officer Jacqi Smith, a county police spokeswoman.

When Mrs. Gregg told them she didn’t have any cash, the two forced her to drive five miles to the Wachovia bank in McLean and withdraw money before letting her go, police said. Mrs. Gregg was not injured. The amount of money she withdrew was not disclosed.

Police said they had no reason to believe Mrs. Gregg was targeted because she is the wife of a senator.

“Her life was threatened and it was a terrifying experience,” her husband said in a written statement. He said she was fine and “out of harm’s way” because of the “quick decisions” she made.

“Yes, she’s fine,” Mrs. Gregg’s mother-in-law, Catherine Gregg, told the Associated Press when contacted in Nashua, N.H. “It took a lot of courage, a lot of courage for what she went through.”

Mr. Gregg, 56, declined to comment any further on the incident because of the ongoing police investigation. The FBI was helping county police in the investigation.

Police said last night they were on the lookout for a black man and a white man in a silver Chevy Monte Carlo with Virginia license plate ADB-9712.

Police said the black man, about 25 years old, was wearing a leather hat and a dark jacket at the time of the robbery. Police said the white man, in his early 20s, was wearing a blue sweatshirt. Police said the Monte Carlo was the robbers’ get-away car.

Police said Mrs. Gregg had returned home from dropping off her children at school when she found the two men standing inside her house.

The robbers forced Mrs. Gregg to drive the family car to the bank in the 1300 block of Chain Bridge Road. The black man, who held the knife, drove with Mrs. Gregg, while the white man followed in the Monte Carlo and waited outside the bank.

While at the bank, Mrs. Gregg filled out forms to withdraw cash. As the teller placed the bills on the counter, the black man grabbed the money and ran out of the bank to the waiting getaway car, police said.

Mrs. Gregg immediately called police from the bank. Police then broadcast a lookout for the Monte Carlo, which was last seen heading north on Route 123.

County Police Sgt. Jeff Gossett said the bank tellers didn’t know that a robbery was taking place. Police did not say how much money was stolen.

A similar robbery occurred a few miles away in McLean last week, but police said it wasn’t known if the two were connected.

It was “very bold … very brazen,” Sgt. Gossett said.

Police said an armed man abducted an Alexandria woman at 12:10 p.m. Sept. 29. The woman, 29, was putting her two children into her car outside a 7-Eleven store in the 8100 block of Old Dominion Drive when a man with a gun came up to her and ordered her to drive to the Bank of America in the 1900 block of Chain Bridge Road.

The woman took one child into the bank, while the other remained as a hostage in the car with the man. When she returned, she handed an undisclosed amount of money to the man, who then ordered her to drive a short distance away. A few minutes later, he got out of the woman’s car and walked away. Police said the robber in that incident was a white man in his 40s.

Police yesterday were questioning residents who live in the Greggs’ neighborhood. Neighbors said they were surprised to learn that such an incident could happen in their cul-de-sac community.

“We’ve been here 20 years and nothing like this has happened before,” neighbor Alain Hanash said.

Trish Macintosh, who was near the Wachovia bank, said she believes those involved didn’t know who they were robbing. “If he knew it was a senator’s address and he had an object, he would have done something different,” she said.

The senator and his wife have two daughters and a son.

Mr. Gregg is nearing the end of his second term in the Senate. He has served eight previous years in the House of Representatives and two terms as governor of New Hampshire.

The Greggs were among an estimated 130 guests who attended President Bush’s fourth official state dinner at the White House Monday night. The formal reception was for Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and his wife, Lucy.

Patrick Badgley contributed to this report.

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