A 74-year-old man said he thought he could have been living his "last day on Earth" after a woman broke into his Maryland home and violently restrained and threatened him before ransacking the house.
Police said the woman knocked on the victim's door in Kensington on Nov. 9 and asked to use the bathroom. The victim, a retired computer specialist, told the woman no, but she returned 15 minutes later. This time, she pushed her way into the home and punched him in the face.
She then held a pair of scissors against him and ordered him to his bedroom, according to police.
"It's scary," the victim told News4 on Tuesday. He didn't want his real name used, so News4 is calling him Joe. "You think that they might use them, and with the tone of her voice, (it) sounded like she could do it."
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Using an electrical cord and a sock, the woman tied Joe's hands behind his back and made him lie on a bed facing the wall while she ransacked the house.
"You think, 'Well, this may be my last day on Earth'" he said.
She also went out of her to show the victim how strong she is, Joe said.
"She showed me her bicep; she had this big, bulging bicep, and she hit me, she hit me right here," he said, gesturing to his face. "And she said, 'If you (expletive) with me, I will kill you in a second.' With the tone of her voice, she was like a maniac."
Montgomery County Police said the woman threatened to stab and shoot the victim if he resisted. Before leaving, she threatened Joe, "If you tell the banks, the police or anybody, we'll come back and we'll kill you," he said.
The woman left the home with the victim's credit card, cash and PIN.
Joe said he was tied up for hours but eventually got free and called police.
"I couldn't get out until the end," he said. "I finally got out."
The victim described the suspect as a Latina woman in her 40s with a medium build, black hair and maroon clothing. Joe told police she introduced herself as "Maria."
Montgomery County Police said they believe the intruder targeted the victim because she knew he lived alone.
Police have released surveillance photos of the suspect taken in a Walmart. Investigators said she used the victim's credit cards at stores in Wheaton and Rockville, Maryland, and in Vienna, Virginia. She also used the cards at an ATM.
A man and a younger female also used the cards to withdraw money.
Investigators later discovered the Kensington robbery was not the suspect's first attempt. Four residents on Wexford Court, a street very close to the victim's home, reported that a woman matching the suspect's description had knocked on their doors within the past few weeks. She was not able to gain entry into those homes.
Anyone with information about any of the three suspects is urged to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered to those who can provide tips that lead to the arrest of any of the suspects.