A team of masked gunmen charged into a Guilford home Tuesday night, tied up a couple and looted more than $50,000 in cash and jewelry while one of the intruders raped the woman, Baltimore police said.
The same three men -- who wore black clothes and had their faces covered with bandannas -- may also have committed three other recent home-invasion robberies in Roland Park and the Pikesville area, police said.
Police officials and about 50 Guilford-area residents held a meeting last night to discuss crime prevention in the wake of Tuesday's attack.
The couple were on the second floor watching television when the men barged in and forced them to the floor.
"People are upset, people are mad, and we're going to do something about it. Enough is enough," said Stuart M. Brooks, a Guilford resident and one of the meeting organizers. "If you can't feel safe in your own home watching television, then where can you ever feel safe?"
The masked men entered the home through a rear kitchen door about 9 p.m., ran up to the second floor and confronted the couple, police said.
The husband, 60, was forced at gunpoint to show two of the men where the valuables were located. At the same time, the third intruder tied the 56-year-old woman's hands and feet and also blindfolded her, police said.
He then raped the woman, police said. The other two men gathered numerous items of value from the house, including jewelry, cash and credit cards, police said. The total value of the items taken was between $50,000 and $60,000.
After tying up the husband, the men left through the front door of the house. After about 10 or 15 minutes, the husband freed himself and called police.
The wife was treated at Mercy Medical Center and released.
Agent Doug Price, a city police spokesman, said the method of the robbery and the descriptions of the three men in black are similar to the general description of two other recent robberies in Baltimore County. Detectives are comparing notes on the cases, he said.
Those robberies occurred July 26, at a house in the first block of Whisperwood Court, and on July 1, at a residence in the first block of Springbriar Lane. Both residences are within minutes of the Beltway's Greenspring Avenue exit.
In both cases, three masked men dressed in black tied up the homeowners and looted the house; however, no one was sexually assaulted in those cases.
Another similar robbery occurred Aug. 6 at a Roland Park home in the 5500 block of Roland Ave., where three gunmen wearing ski masks charged in through a dining room door, tied up the residents and stole jewelry and other items.
Residents of Guilford, an affluent North Baltimore community, took security into their own hands last year when they hired a private security force to patrol the streets.
Since that time, crime has dropped, said Mr. Brooks, one of the residents who organized last night's meeting.
"This is a fabulous place to live, and we want to keep it that ## way," Mr. Brooks said. "We're going to be very, very vigilant. These streets belong to us. We're not going to allow this to happen again to anyone in our community."