The owner of a Gaithersburg limousine service was shot to death after driving a fare to New York from Washington on Sunday, and police have charged one of the victim's passengers, and two other men, with the murder.

New York City police said they found the body of Theodore Rodill, 47, beneath the Manhattan Bridge Sunday afternoon.

"It was a pre-planned thing," said Detective Alan Grossman of the 84th Brooklyn Precinct. "They picked a target. They actually said they were going to kill him."

New York police said one of the suspects said their motive was to strip parts from the $25,000 limousine and sell them. Police said one of the accused men had hired Rodill in Washington on Saturday night.

Rodill's body was discovered at 4 p.m. Sunday. His wallet and his limousine were missing, but police identified him through a business card in his pocket. Police stopped the limousine in Queens at 8:30 p.m. and arrested the driver and two passengers. The suspects, Angelo Henderson, 21, Michael Burgess, 20, and Dwayne Sutton, 19, all from Brooklyn, were charged with murder and robbery.

Rodill's wife, Susan, said her husband, a retired 13-year veteran of the D.C. police department, started the business, Custom Limousine, a few months ago and bought a 1981 six-door Lincoln Continental.

New York City investigators said Rodill drove his passengers to Brooklyn where "additional" people were picked up.

"At least one person made him pull to a secluded area where he was robbed and shot," Detective Grossman said.

Mrs. Rodill said her husband called her early Sunday morning and said he had secured a job that had been arranged by a Manhattan limousine company. She said he told her, "I've got to go up to New York." She said her husband, who had been a motorcycle patrolman with the Metropolitan Police Department here, did not carry a weapon.

"I expected him back Sunday night," she said. "You'd think with all that's happened, with the riots and the robberies, that that's when he'd get it. Not driving someone around in a car."