The man who knocked on David Goldman's door at 9:30 last night didn't look like trouble. He was fairly young, in his mid-20s, "dressed neat, clean-shaven and (with) a good haircut," the 76-year-old later told police, and he asked the price on the 1996 Mercedes for sale in the driveway. Two grand? The man said he had to go talk with his girlfriend, then he'd be back.
He was as good as his word, returning to Goldman's Mockingbird Lane home, a few blocks east of Abrams, a half hour later with a counteroffer. He didn't have $2,000, but he could get $400 from the ATM and trade in the 1998 Honda he was driving. Goldman agreed. He also agreed when the man came back with only $200 and offered a check to cover the rest. He invited the man and the friend he had brought with him into his house sign the paperwork.
And that's when police say an innocent car purchase turned into an armed robbery. The first man, the one who had knocked on his door, grabbed Goldman from behind and pushed him into the living room.
Goldman complained of having a bad neck, so the two robbers were relatively gentle as they laid him on the floor and tied him up with a black cloth string that looked like it came from an apron.
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There wasn't much talking after that. Goldman heard the first man tell his friend "Don't kill him" and "Don't shoot him" as the two went through his wallet, rummaged through a jewelry box, and walked out with his TV.
All told, the the men were in Goldman's house for 15 minutes and escaped with about $12,000 in loot, including the TV, a Mercury Grand Marquis, and the jewelry box, which was mostly filled with mementos: a Highland Park High School ring, class of '45; a Phi Delta lapel pendant; and some sort of gold medal Goldman had won.
They left Goldman tied up on the floor. He managed somehow to scoot himself toward his phone, knock the receiver off the hook, and dial 911. He was still bound when police arrived and kicked in the door, which the robbers had locked behind them.
Goldman suffered no injuries, though the fire department did have to be called out to jerry-rig his door so it would stay shut for the night.