An elderly man was kidnapped in Wheaton on Sunday and possibly forced to get cash from ATMs in the third such incident in five days, and Montgomery County police said they think all involved the same assailant.

The 77-year-old victim was seriously injured when he was cut and beaten in the kidnapping, which, like the others, began at the Westfield Wheaton shopping center, said Capt. Paul Starks, a county police spokesman.

After emerging from a Target store about 1:50 p.m., Starks said, the victim was accosted by a man with a sharp object thought to be a box cutter. He got into his car and was forced to go to at least two automated teller machines, Starks said.

After the assailant fled, a passerby spotted the victim in the passenger seat of his car near the Mall at Prince George’s in Hyattsville about 3 p.m., Starks said, and police were called.

The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment. His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, police said.

On Saturday, a 60-year-old man was accosted near the Giant Food store at the Wheaton shopping center after loading groceries in his car. He was not injured; neither was a 75-year-old man who was the victim in a similar incident Wednesday near the grocery store. Starks said Sunday’s incident began within about 100 yards of the Giant.

Crime Solvers of Montgomery County will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest or indictment, Starks said.

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