Suspect sketches in home invasion

MONTGOMERY TWP., Pa. - January 12, 2009

The Citizens Crime Commission is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of suspects in the murder of Robert Chae. Police are trying to find 3 suspects. They've released sketches of 2 of the suspects.

Below is Vernon Odom's report from January 9, 2009:

A business owner was killed during a home invasion in an affluent Montgomery County community early Friday morning.

Police were called to the scene just before 6 a.m. at a home on the 100 block of Gwynmont Drive in Montgomery Twp. in Montgomery County.

The victim was 58-year-old Robert Chae, the owner of Penn Center Beauty Supply in Center City Philadelphia.

He was stabbed to death during the robbery at his home.

Investigators say Chae had opened the garage door as he was leaving for work. Three men rushed into the home through the open door and stabbed Chae multiple times.

Chae's wife, their adult son and daughter-in-law were taken to the basement by the intruders, and bound with duct tape. One man stayed with the son and daughter-in-law.

Police say the other two questioned Chae's wife about where the money was kept. She took them to the safe and opened it.

At some point, Mrs. Chae was able to flee through the basement door to the home of neighbor Joon Yeon.

"She just came into my house, she just banged on the door and she asked me to call 911," Yeon said. "She said there's been a robbery and they took everything."

Soon after all three intruders fled the home, and took off in a dark SUV.

Police say the intruders seemed to know Chae was a business owner, and also knew his daily routine.

Sharon Battle, one of Chae's customers, was horrified to learn of the murder.

"He was a very nice person, a very friendly gentleman, and they were actually neighbors of mine and I'd stop in in the morning on my way into my office and visit them and speak to them even if I wasn't going to purchase anything," Battle said.

Family and friends were at police headquarters all day Friday being interviewed.

Investigators have recovered what they believe is the knife used in the crime. They also say the bandits carried handguns.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Montgomery Township Detective Bureau at 215-362-2300.

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