Delivery man robs billionaire, making off with several hundred dollars

Police: Delivery man robs billionaire, making off with several hundred dollars

The Associated Press

Published: February 7, 2007

SAN DIEGO: A phony delivery man forced his way into the house of a billionaire, and bound him, his wife and a housekeeper with duct tape before making off with only a few hundred dollars, police said Wednesday.

Investigators say the intruder specifically targeted Ernest Rady, a financier ranked No. 140 last year on Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 richest Americans.

Rady, 69, was not home when the suspect arrived at the La Jolla residence Tuesday afternoon, said San Diego police Capt. Mary Cornicelli.

The intruder buzzed the intercom and asked for “Mrs. Rady” to sign some documents, Cornicelli said. After Rady’s wife, Evelyn, and a housekeeper opened the door, the suspect pulled out a handgun and stun gun and forced his way in, police said.

The women were marched through the house at gunpoint as the robber demanded cash, then were taken to the master bedroom and bound with duct tape, Cornicelli said.

Less than two hours later, Rady arrived and was stunned and bound by the intruder.

The man left the house with less than $1,000 (€770) in cash about five hours after arriving, police said. The Radys freed themselves and called police; Ernest Rady was briefly hospitalized with minor injuries.

Police were searching for the man Wednesday. Rady declined to comment on the ordeal when reached by telephone.

Rady, a former part-owner of the San Diego Padres, made a $2.1 billion (€1.62 billion) fortune by establishing Westcorp, one of the country’s largest auto finance companies. It was sold to Wachovia Corp. in 2005 for $3.42 billion (€2.63 billion).

“People may think that because they’re not high profile they don’t need protection, but they’re totally wrong,” said Joseph LaSorsa, a security expert. “Anyone who does their homework can find out where high-net-worth people live.”