At approximately 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, two senior citizens were followed home, assaulted, and robbed at gunpoint.
The victims were an 82-year-old man and 70-year-old woman who lived on the 100 block of Rochester Place in Patterson Park.
According to the victims, the suspect was a heavy-set African-American male in his early 20s who was 6 foot tall. He reportedly was wearing a navy blue sweatshirt and dark-colored pants.
The victims told police that they were walking out of their home when the suspect walked up to them and pushed them back into the house. The suspect pushed them on the floor and pointed a long-barrel gun at them, demanding money. The male victim gave the suspect his wallet and the female victim handed over money and her cell phone. When the victims insisted that it was all they had, the suspect said, “That’s not enough, I want more.” He then pointed the gun at the male victim and stated, “I’m going to kill your wife.” At this, the victims reiterated that they didn’t have anything else and the suspect ran out the door as the female victim hit him with a cane.
One of the victims’ neighbors heard the commotion and witnessed the suspect fleeing the scene on a bike.
The victims refused medical treatment and are grateful to have survived such a terrifying ordeal with minimal injuries.
Police, the victims, and other residents in the neighborhood are urging people to keep an eye out for the suspect.
“We’re going to put every effort we can into capturing them and we hope the community is just as outraged because it is different when we’re talking about vulnerable victims,” said T.J. Smith., a spokesperson for Baltimore Police spokesperson.
Inspectors are encouraging anyone with information to call 410-396-2422 or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.
Earlier that same day, a 90-year-woman was assaulted in the Park Heights neighborhood. The victim is currently in critical but stable condition. Police said they don’t believe the two cases are related.
There were three other robberies that night. For more information on these cases, read the Crime Blotter on page 9.
Following these assaults, the Southeast District Police Department released a list of personal safety tips for seniors.
The newsletter starts by saying that senior citizens are often the targets of theft, robbery, fraud, and identity theft because they are viewed as being weak and unable to fight back.
As to not encourage potential criminals to your home, don’t carry identification on your keys and do not leave a spare key outside your door. Always lock your doors and place a broomstick in the door track if it’s a sliding door. Avoid keeping a large amount of cash inside the house. Make sure important paperwork, like checks and Social Security information, are in a hidden and secure location. Of course, the best advice is to remain alert and aware of your surroundings. Criminals often prey on those who are distracted regardless of age. Always keep a telephone nearby, keep the outside of your home well-lit, and get to known your neighbors and look out for each other.
To protect yourself at home, be wary of anybody who says they are a salesperson or company representative and demand to see their credentials.
If at any moment you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, call law enforcement officials.
By Gianna DeCarlo