Man sought in invasion of 2 Lutherville homes

One woman raped, bound, another tied up

incidents rattle quiet neighborhood

November 19, 2003|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A 35-year-old Lutherville woman was raped and tied up yesterday morning and a female neighbor was bound by a man who forced his way into their homes in the quiet neighborhood, Baltimore County police said.

The home invasions were reported about 20 minutes apart and left neighbors rattled. The first took place about 10:40 a.m. in the 1600 block of Pickett Road, where the woman was raped. The second occurred about 11 a.m. six blocks away in the first block of Seminary Ave., police said.

The second victim -- a 66-year-old woman who was also home alone -- was not raped, said Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman. However, both women were probably victims of robberies, he said. Both women were able to free themselves and call police.

Investigators think the assailant stole cash or other valuables before leaving the women's homes, Toohey said. Inventories of the women's belongings were not complete yesterday.

Josephine Bond, who has lived in the neighborhood of single-family brick homes for nearly 40 years, said it wasn't long ago that you could leave your door unlocked. "I'm concerned," she said. "We've never had this kind of trouble."

The man forced a side door open to get into the Seminary Avenue house, Toohey said. It was unclear how the assailant entered the Pickett Road house. There were no signs of forced entry, but the woman told officers that the doors were locked. One of the locks may not have been secured properly, police said.

The women described their attacker as an African-American man in his 30s, 6 feet tall, weighing 180 to 190 pounds with a scruffy-looking beard, police said. He was wearing dark clothing.

The neighborhood, east of York Road, has been the target of a string of daytime burglaries in recent months, prompting police to call residents and warn them to take precautions.

Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 17, 10 burglaries in the area were reported to police. However, Toohey said, "There's not an obvious connection. They were strictly property crimes. There were no physical assaults or confrontations."

"This kind of violent crime is unusual," Toohey said. "People should be cautious -- watch out for strangers in their neighborhoods."

Sandi Rose, who lives near the victims, was shocked by the news. "This is unbelievable," she said.

Police ask anyone with information about the home invasions to call 410-307-2020.

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