FBI, task force to follow leads in Overlea case


Baltimore County Police sifted through more than 100 tips yesterday in their search for two men who held an Overlea woman and her daughters captive for more than eight hours and forced the woman to help them rob the bank where she worked.

"A lot of information is coming in," E. Jay Miller, police spokesman, said. "There have been over 100 calls from citizens thinking they know who these guys are."

The department has assembled a 30-member task force of detectives from the county police sex crimes and robbery units to check out the tips and find the men, Mr. Miller said.

The FBI also has joined the hunt because bank robbery is a federal crime.

Meanwhile, residents of the working-class Overlea neighborhood where the three women were terrorized from late Monday night until dawn Tuesday waited anxiously, hoping for news that the suspects had been caught.

"I am not saying [the suspects] would come back," said Rick Schroeder, who lives a few doors away from the family. "But a lot of people would feel better if they found them."

The neighborhood of single-family brick and frame homes with American flag decals in the windows and sculpted shrubbery on close-cropped lawns is generally pretty sedate, Mr. Schroeder said.

And although many residents were rattled by the incident, they also found some comfort in the police theory that the woman was specifically targeted because of her job at the bank.

"It's usually pretty quiet here," Mr. Schroeder said. "But it sounds to me they kind of had a certain sense of what the woman did."

Mr. Miller said that the assailants apparently had been watching the woman for more than a month.

The women have told police they don't know the men who burst through the unlocked front door of their house about 10:45 p.m. Monday.

The two men tied up the 44-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter, then raped the woman's 20-year-old daughter when she walked in the door 15 minutes later, police said.

The pair robbed the women of jewelry and money, fixed sandwiches and coffee and threatened the family several times before ordering them to drive around Overlea about 5 a.m. Tuesday.

They arrived at a nearby fast food outlet two hours later, where one man stayed with the daughters and the other took the mother to a branch of Sequoia Federal Savings Bank in the 8000 block of Belair Road.

He ordered the woman to go into the bank, get money and be back in three minutes, police said.

The man drove back to the fast food restaurant, where they picked up the others and drove south on Harford Road until the men escaped on foot just inside the Beltway.

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