Oriental rugs valued at about $200,000 were stolen in an armed robbery of a rug store in Northwest Washington by two unidentified men, District of Columbia police said.

Police said that at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nechan C. Hintlian, owner of Hintlian Oriental Rug Store, 3323 Connecticut Ave., answered a knock at a back door of his shop to find a man standing with a rolled rug on his shoulder. The man asked if Hintlian could clean the rug, and when Hintlian stepped outside to inspect it, another man, armed with a pistol, forced him back inside.

Moments later, Hintlian's partner, Bedros Levonian, came into the back of the store. Both men then were gagged and tied, their cash and watches taken.

The assailants also took the keys to Hintlian's car and escaped with between 20 and 30 rugs, valued between 7,000 and $13,000.

One hour later, after wriggling free from their bonds, Hintlian and Lavonian called police.

Wednesday's robbery was one of 22 armed robberies yesterday in the District of Columbia. There have been 4,552 robberies in the city so far this year, as compared with 3,102 at this time last year.