The two intruders who terrorized a 44-year-old Overlea woman and her two daughters for more than eight hours this week had studied the family's activities for at least three weeks and knew the mother worked at a bank, Baltimore County police say.
One of the daughters was raped during the ordeal.
Both intruders remained at large today.
"It was not a random act," said E. Jay Miller, a county police spokesman. "It's obvious they had studied and watched the family . . . particularly the mother and the bank."
Meanwhile, a 30-member task force made up of detectives from the county police sex crimes and robbery units has been formed to find the men. The FBI also is investigating.
The names of the women and their address were not released because of the sexual crime.
The crime binge began about 10:45 p.m. Monday when two men burst into the women's home through an unlocked front screen door. One was armed with a knife and the other carried a small chrome revolver, Miller said.
"The mother heard the noise and confronted them in the living room," Miller said. "They taped her mouth and put her upstairs in a second-floor bedroom and the same with the 16-year-old daughter."
The intruders asked who else was arriving. They apparently knew guests had just left before their intrusion, Miller said.
Fifteen minutes later, the 20-year-old daughter arrived and was "grabbed and bound," Miller said. She was placed in a front bedroom upstairs. The rear bedroom "was too crowded," he said.
Meanwhile, the men, who often threatened the family, rummaged through the house, taking rings and other pieces of jewelry, Miller said.
The intruders were described as white men with thin builds in their 20s.
The gunman is 5 feet, 8 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a thin face and a sparse beard. "He has a deep froggy voice," Miller said, adding that the man had a cold, because he coughed and sneezed.
The other man is described as being shorter than 5 feet, with thin blond hair and a big nose, police said.
Meanwhile, after rummaging, the intruders returned upstairs and raped the 20-year-old.
"Then they asked where were the coffee and the food and left them [the victims] upstairs while they kind of made themselves at home," Miller said.
"They both smoked and even emptied their own ashtrays and flushed the ashes down the toilet."
At one point, the mother asked why they wouldn't leave, Miller said, and that is when they told the women they planned to rob the bank.
"They knew and told [the mother] what kind of dress she was wearing last month when she went to work," Miller said. "They also knew they had a party at the house in mid-June. They had done a lot of homework."
At 5 a.m. yesterday, the intruders forced the family into the mother's beige and brown 1981 Oldsmobile and made her drive. One man sat in the front seat and one in the back.
They drove around the Beltway, then went north on Dulaney Valley Road to the Jacksonville area, which they seemed to know well, Miller said.
"The drive was to kill time pretty much," Miller said.
Shortly before 7 a.m., they stopped on a side lot of a Hardee's fast-food outlet on Belair Road. The intruder with the knife stood outside with the daughters, while the gunman and the mother drove to Sequoia Federal Savings Bank in the 8000 block of Belair Road, where she works, police said.
"The clear intimidation was, 'I've got your mother,' " Miller said.
When the gunman and the mother arrived at the bank, the gunman told her to go in and get money within two to three minutes, police said.
Using a key, the mother entered the building and came out carrying two metal boxes and a bag of coins, Miller said.
Afterward, the holdup man and the woman returned to Hardee's to pick up the accomplice and the daughters, police said.
The men got out of the Oldsmobile on Fullerton Avenue. They told the family not to call police immediately because they knew where they lived, Miller said.
"They did not get much money," the spokesman said. "It must have been a great disappointment for them after all the preparation."
Police aren't sure whether the intruders fled on foot or jumped into a car.
"At 7:24 p.m., we got the call of the night of terror," Miller said.
Anyone with information can call police at 887-2198. Miller said it is possible the men may have tried to recruit others for the crimes.
"It's pretty bizarre," he said.