Elkridge family robbed at home by several men

Food business owners `targeted,' police say

June 17, 1999|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

An Elkridge family was robbed at home yesterday morning by a group of men brandishing knives and a gun in what officials believe was a "targeted" robbery, Howard County police said.

Tian Huang, 43, and her children, 8 and 10, were in different rooms when they heard three or four Asian men enter the home in the 8500 block of Bonnie View Lane through a locked side door about 8: 30 a.m., police said.

One of the men wore a surgical mask and the others ski masks, said Sgt. Morris Carroll, a police spokesman.

Tian's husband, Zi Qi Huang, 44, was in another room and heard the commotion.

"He heard someone yelling `robbery' in Cantonese," Carroll said.

The three other family members were forced into the kitchen and made to lie on the floor; Tian Huang was handcuffed and duct tape was placed around her eyes.

Her husband jumped from a bedroom window of the ranch-style home and ran about an eighth of a mile down a hill to the Econo Lodge motel at Bonnie View Lane and U.S. 1.

"He was bleeding and shouting `Help, help,' " said George Ogalo, a motel clerk who called police at 8: 33 a.m. "He was totally confused."

Zi Qi Huang suffered minor cuts and other injuries and was treated at St. Agnes HealthCare and released.

Ogalo said Mr. Huang had cuts on his left eyebrow and his hands, and that he was worried about his family.

Inside the home, the robbers were demanding money from the family, and Mrs. Huang "indicated there was money in her purse," Carroll said.

The intruders also searched the home for money, including breaking one of the children's piggy banks and stealing its contents.

The Huangs told police it was the second time they had been robbed at home. They have lived there since May 1995.

Police believe the Huangs were chosen for robbery because they run a business, a wholesale food market in Jessup.

"They were definitely targeted," Carroll said.

Pub Date: 6/17/99

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