Montgomery County police believe the same man is responsible for a series of robberies and kidnappings that have targeted older men in Wheaton-area parking lots.

The most recent of the three incidents happened at about 1:50 p.m. Sunday, when a man wielding a box cutter accosted a 77-year-old man in the parking lot of the Target at the Westfield Wheaton mall, located at 11160 Veirs Mill Road, police said.

The suspect ordered the man to get into his vehicle, police said. Investigators believe the suspect drove the victim to other locations to make him withdraw cash -- which is what happened in the other kidnappings, which were reported on Wednesday and Saturday.

Detectives are still trying to determine what exactly happened to Sunday's victim, said Capt. Paul Starks.

The man was cut with the box cutter and beaten in the head and face, police said. He was treated for serious injuries that were not life-threatening.

The victim was eventually dropped off on the 3500 block of East-West Highway, near the Mall at Prince George's. A passerby noticed the victim and called police at about 3:15 p.m.

The first two incidents both occurred near the Giant grocery store located at 2900 University Blvd. Those victims, a 75-year-old man and a 60-year-old man, were not injured.

The 75-year-old man was attacked at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, police said. The suspect drove him to an ATM and forced him to withdraw cash. The suspect later fled on foot, possibly toward a Metrobus, police said.

In the Saturday kidnapping, the 60-year-old man was accosted while he was loading groceries into his vehicle at about 2 p.m. Police said the victim was driven to an ATM in Montgomery County and forced to withdraw cash, then to a gas station at 7000 Blair Road NW in the District. The suspect then fled on foot.

Police on Monday released surveillance footage from the Target incident in an effort to generate tips. The suspect is described as a black man who is between 35 and 45 years old, about 6-feet tall and 175 to 180 pounds.

Anyone who has information can call police at 240-773-5100 or Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477) or 240-773-8477.

ebabay@washingtonexaminer.com