A University Park man was assaulted inside his own home after he unwittingly interrupted a burglary-in-progress earlier today, according to University Park police.
The incident began around 12:40 p.m. when a homeowner living in the 4200 block of Tuckerman Street returned home after the house had been vacant for only an hour. Once inside, the man locked his front door and shortly afterwards encountered an intruder inside his home.
The suspect, described by police as a 20-to-25-year-old black male with short dreadlocks, standing about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 145 pounds and dressed in all black clothing, tried to bolt through the front door. Finding the front door locked, he turned and struck the victim in the face several times before running out of the house through a basement door.
Officers from the University Park Police Department and the Prince George's County Police Department responded to the scene shortly after the victim called 911. Police searched the area for the suspect, but were unable to find him.
An investigation revealed that the basement door had been forced open and that cash and jewelry had been stolen from the home.
According to UPPD Chief Michael Wynnyk, the incident is classified as a residential robbery, as opposed to a burglary.
"It started out as a burglary, but since the person was confronted, it turns into a robbery when the victim is assaulted and his property is taken," said Wynnyk in an interview. "It sort of morphed from a burglary, to an interrupted burglary in progress, to a robbery."