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Posted at 04:40 PM ET, 01/11/2012

Police link home invasions in Wheaton and Bethesda

A housekeeper was tied up and sexually assaulted and a mother and teenage son were tied up during a home invasion in Bethesda early Wednesday morning that Montgomery County police say involves the same suspect as in a home invasion Tuesday in Wheaton.


home invasion suspect (Courtesy Montgomery County police)
Police linked the incidents Wednesday afternoon and expanded on details about the robberies. They also released a surveillance photo of a suspect . On Wednesday, a housekeeper who had just arrived for work at about 6:45 a.m. at a house in the 9200 block of Bardon Road, went outside to move her car when she encountered the suspect at the front door, police say. The suspect pulled a gun and forced the housekeeper back in the house where he tied up her, the homeowner and the homeowner’s teenage son before sexually assaulting the housekeeper, said police.

The suspect stole a debit card and the keys to the housekeeper’s Ford Expedition which he used to flee, according to police. The stolen card later was used at a CVS in L’Enfant Plaza in the District, police said.

An earlier police account said two suspects had been at the Bethesda house.

Detectives have linked the Bethesda robbery to a home invasion at about 10 a.m. Tuesday in the 2900 block of McMahon Road in Wheaton. During that crime, a woman had just entered the garage of her home when a suspect with a gun approached and demanded money, which the victim pulled from her wallet, police said.

The suspect then demanded the victim’s debit car and PIN number and her car keys, police said. The robber fled in the victim’s car and later used her stolen card at a bank ATM in Oxon Hill, according to police.

The suspect in both robberies is described by police as a black man in his late 20s to early 30s, 5-feet 7-inches tall with a slim build.  The suspect was wearing a black jacket, a sweatshirt with pockets in the front, dark-colored pants, and brown-framed eyeglasses, police said.  He also was wearing a black ski mask and gloves, said police.

After the Bethesda home invasion, the suspect fled in the gray Ford Expedition with Maryland tags 4AE7450.  The vehicle has a McDaniel College sticker on the rear windshield.

 Anyone with information about the robberies, the suspect or the stolen vehicle is asked to call the Montgomery County Police Robbery Section at 240-773-5100.  Anonymous calls can be made to Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or 240-773-TIPS (8477).  Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and/or indictment of the person responsible for the felonies.  Anonymous tips can also be provided by typing “MCPD” plus the tip on a cell phone or PDA and texting it to 274637 (CRIMES).

The home invasion robbery occurred as residential burglaries in Bethesda have risen, according to Montgomery County Police.

There were 25 burglaries in November and 26 in December, with an overall 5.7 percent increase in burglaries last year compared to 2010, said Capt. David Falcinelli, commander of the Bethesda district. “That’s not a great number but it is not an alarming number — and it is something we are addressing,” he said. In the past month, police have made nine burglary arrests and obtained warrants for two suspects, Falcinelli said, “so the detectives are working it.”

This Post has been updated.

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By  |  04:40 PM ET, 01/11/2012

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