Armed pair rob office at BWI


A man and a woman apparently dressed as cleaning employees stole between $50,000 and $60,000 from the Host Marriott Corp. office at Baltimore-Washington International Airport yesterday after forcing their way in at gunpoint, authorities said.

The robbery occurred about 3 a.m. as two female employees of the Marriott office were counting money from the previous day's business, Maryland Transportation Authority Police said. Marriott operates the airport's merchandise, food and beverage concessions.

One of the women left the locked office to go to a restroom down the hall and, as she returned, was approached by a man and a woman wearing uniforms resembling those of cleaning personnel, said Tom Freburger, Transportation Authority spokesman.

"One of the two had what appeared to be a handgun. They ordered her to go back into the room," which had been locked using a numerical keypad, Mr. Freburger said.

The victim complied and opened the door. Once inside, the robbers tied up the two employees with rope and "took all the money insight," Mr. Freburger said.

An exact tally hadn't been completed last night, but investigators estimated that $50,000 to $60,000 was taken. Police said they think the intruders stuffed the money into bags they brought with them or found in the office.

The two fled, leaving the women tied up and lying on the floor. After about 10 minutes, one was able to wriggle free and call for help, police said.

One of the women is five months pregnant, but she was not seriously injured, and paramedics determined that there was no harm to her fetus, police said. The other woman also was checked by paramedics and appeared to be unharmed, police said.

The women said the intruders might have disguised their faces but that they weren't sure because the robbery occurred so quickly, police said. Investigators said the robbers were still being sought last night.

The office where the robbery occurred is in a public area of the airport terminal, police said.

Host Marriott Corp. recently announced that its sales were up $2 million, or 39 percent, over last year and that it was expanding its operations at the fast-growing airport.

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