Police today sought two men who invaded the exclusive home of a Greenspring Valley couple yesterday and terrorized them before escaping with an estimated $200,000 in jewelry, furs, cash and a luxury car.
Police said Sheldon Goldseker, 51, and his wife, Shelley, 41, were handcuffed by the robbers -- one of whom was armed with a chrome-plated handgun -- and bound with duct tape.
One of the men also sprayed a chemical irritant in Mrs. Goldseker's face before the pair fled in the victim's black Lexus automobile.
Sheldon Goldseker is the nephew of the late landlord and philanthropist, Morris Goldseker. Sheldon Goldseker serves as the chairman of the Morris Goldseker Foundation of Maryland Inc., which last year dispensed $970,000 in grants to non-profit organizations for underprivileged children and the homeless.
Police spokesman E. Jay Miller said detectives have no leads in the incident, which left the victims "frightened to death. . . . These people were singled out."
Mr. Miller said police have broadcast a lookout for the car but have "very little to go on."
Mr. Miller said the robbery occurred about 7:30 a.m. yesterday at the couple's home in the first block of Velvet Valley Court in Greenspring Valley. The home is in heavy woods at the end of a long driveway.
He said Mr. Goldseker discovered one of the thieves in the garage. The owner was forced back into the house, where Mrs. Goldseker was attempting to call police.
Both victims were bound with plastic handcuffs and duct tape. Mr. Goldseker was put in an upstairs bathroom and his wife was put downstairs. Mr. Miller said one of the thieves threatened to shoot them if they made any noise.
The intruders searched the home, confiscated the couple's property and escaped in the Lexus, which police said bears Maryland license tags ZFV-495. They left a Mercedes Benz in the garage because the car's alarm was triggered, police said.
The couple freed themselves and called police a few minutes later at 8 a.m., Mr. Miller said.
Police said one of the intruders wore a hooded jacket.
"They're very nice people," said a neighbor, Don Benter, a Baltimore attorney. "I was home at the time but we didn't hear a thing."
Fred Greenberg, 62, lives on Velvet Valley Way several hundred yards from the scene of the robbery. He said today his house has been burglarized four times and he and his wife are moving.
"We've had to put our house up for sale," Mr. Greenberg said. "When I travel on business, my wife goes and stays in a hotel because she is so afraid."
He said he and his wife plan to move to a condominium that has 24-hour security.
The neighborhood, Mr. Greenberg said, seems to be targeted because it is "out of the way" and the homes are on wooded lots. Large wood-frame and stone homes advertise the fact that residents are "affluent," he said.
Ironically, Mr. Greenberg said, Mrs. Goldseker led a community drive to get Baltimore County to install lighting on the dark roads. Some area residents voted against the idea, and the county said such lighting would be installed only if all community members wanted it.
Mr. Greenberg and other neighbors had installed lots of lighting on their properties.
Detective Ken Lynch of the county police, who investigates burglaries in Greenspring Valley, said investigators were aware of a number of break-ins.
"We are monitoring the area," he said today. "We're aware that there are some problems up there."
He suggested residents should be vigilant about keeping a watch on their neighbors' homes and reporting any suspicious activity.
A quick computer check by police revealed that there had been one break-in reported since March 1991 on Velvet Valley Court and on several streets around the court.
At the nearby Jemicy School, several hundred yards south of the Goldseker property, the director, Stephen Wilkens, said the armed robbery might force him to "beef up surveillance" at the private school for dyslexic children.