Vi Ripken Safe After Being Abducted, Motive Unknown

Aberdeen resident and Ripken family matriarch Vi Ripken was taken from her home Tuesday and found in the back seat of her car with her hands tied Wednesday morning.

UPDATED (4:05 p.m.)— resident Violet Roberta Ripken is safe at home after she was abducted from her home Tuesday morning, Aberdeen police said.

Ripken, 74, was found with her hands bound in the back seat of her 1998 Lincoln Town Car Wednesday morning near her home, Aberdeen police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick said in an email.

Asked if the abduction was targeted at , Aberdeen police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick told there was no indication of such Wednesday, and that a motive is still under investigation.

Aberdeen police  reiterated in an afternoon news conference that a motive remains under investigation.

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The suspect used Ripken's car to drive around the central Maryland region with Ripken on board, Trabert said.

Budnick, citing an ongoing investigation, declined to confirm that the suspect used Ripken's ATM or credit cards during the abduction.

In a statement released earlier Wednesday, Aberdeen police said a man armed with a handgun—described as in his late 30s or early 40s wearing a light colored shirt, camouflage pants and glasses—forced Ripken into her vehicle between 7 and 8 a.m. Tuesday. The vehicle fled the area, police said.

Aberdeen police received a call from Baltimore County police around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday regarding a suspicious vehicle in the Ebenezer Road area of Essex.

Ripken was located at 6:15 Wednesday morning unharmed in her vehicle near her home on Clover Street, police said.

Police said she was not injured and is resting with family members.

Violet Ripken is the widow of Cal Ripken Sr. and the mother of Ellen, Cal, Fred and Bill Ripken.

Her children released the following statement Wednesday: "As you now know, our mother was abducted at gunpoint from her home yesterday morning. This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy. We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly. This is [an] ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time. Thank you.”

Anyone with information may contact Aberdeen police at 410-272-2121.

The FBI, Harford County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State police and Baltimore County police are assisting Aberdeen police in the investigation.

In a news release sent at 5:38 a.m. Wednesday, Baltimore County police initially reported Ripken as missing.

An hour later, police said Ripken had been found in Harford County and was speaking with police.

Vi Ripken is very active in her hometown—serving on a number of volunteer boards, including the , which this fall is opening .

She's also a regular at games at . The club is owned by Ripken Baseball, founded by her sons Cal and Bill upon Cal's retirement. Her daughter, Elly, is an accountant for Ripken Baseball.

Her late husband, Cal Ripken Sr., was known affectionately as "Senior" to friends and family. He was a longtime coach and minor league manager in the Orioles system. He managed the Orioles in 1987, becoming the first manager with two sons on his roster. Cal Ripken Sr. died on March 25, 1999, and the family started the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in his memory.

Cal Ripken Jr. is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame after an extraordinary career with the Orioles. He earned the nickname "IronMan" after he played in a record 2,632 consecutive games. Ripken also won two American League MVP awards during his career with the Orioles. He is chairman and founder of Ripken Baseball.

Bill Ripken played 12 years in the major leagues, including playing second base for the Orioles alongside his brother. He is a regular television analyst on the MLB Network's MLB Tonight broadcast, and an executive vice president with Ripken Baseball.

Vi Ripken's grandson, Cal's son, Ryan, was , but opted to attend the University of South Carolina on a baseball scholarship.

Stay with Patch for updates.

DS July 25, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Welcome to the great state of Maryland everyone - where the taxes are high and the crime is too!
MLH July 25, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Praying for you Mrs. Ripken. May you rest in the comfort of your family!
Parkvillehoney July 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Apparently no one is safe in the wonderful state of Maryland. I hope this is a wake up call to everyone with elderly parents or relatives. Contact your relatives on a daily basis. Even just to say "hi." I hope Mrs Ripken's car has lowjack or onstar. Maybe they could have tracked her vehicle, if they knew it was missing.
Pat Foster July 25, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Thank God Mrs Ripkin is OK!
ARG July 25, 2012 at 07:40 PM
I feel comfortable enough to say the motive was money. Or the criminal just picked the wrong house. Which makes it an act of stupidity.
Cheryl Parks-Weidley July 25, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Good to know she is safe. Best wishes to and for her.
Terry July 25, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Cal can surely afford to keep his mom in luxury - what's she driving around in a 1998 Lincoln? She should have a chauffeur & definitely one of those "old people security necklaces" which alerts someone to an emergency......
funnyguy July 25, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Cal's my hero, really.
Sean Tully July 25, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I'll bet Cal is pissed.
elaine July 25, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Seeing the pictures of her house on the news - the fundamental security is low hedges - there are tall trees/bushes that can easily hide a perpetrator from the street (they love that!). I'm sad this happened and very glad and relieved she is okay, physically anyway.
Betsy July 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM
With regard to some of these remarks, I am sure Cal Jr. and his siblings have offered to provide for mrs. Ripken's housing with them. However, what she chooses to do or not do is certainly up to her. I'm sure she drives the car she does because she likes it and there's nothing wrong with it. Not everyone tosses things out just because they're not brand new. We offer prayers of gratitude for her safe survival of this ordeal. --a fellow Aberdeenian.
aseda1 July 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM
@ Everyone, have we forgotten that Ms.Ripken's does not want the high life. Her whole life is in that humble home. It was there that she raise her family, spent the best part of her life with her best friend, and lover Mr. Ripken, Sr. She is Maryland royalty. We love her, and the Ripkens very much. I grew cheering for the family in the O's ball park. The problem that I have is Aberdeen Police Department is so out of the loop on these matters. The crime in Aberdeen is out of control. Don't let anyone tell any different. Section 8, is proven to bring crime. As long as these questionable people are living, moving into the area, the crime will travel up and down route 22, 924, and so on. I moved to Aberdeen six years ago. I'm not going to lie, I hate it. I move here from Towson, MD. No one listen to the citizen of this county. Well, here's what I know should happen. If the citizens of Harford County want to be safe. The county executive needs to unify the police departments. Use one communication system where all emergency radio's are on the same channel. There's a need for a stronger Police presents. See the Aberdeen Police know how to write speeding tickets, but, know nothing about fighting crime. This is a quote from a former Aberdeen Police Office who retired from Baltimore City Police Department. No one likes to have our community slam, but, the truth must be told.
Other Tim July 26, 2012 at 12:30 AM
I lived in Aberdeen in 1972 and 1973. It was a rat hole then. High crime and prostitution. Can't blame this one on Section 8, but it sure didn't help.
Tim July 26, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Who knows, maybe some crooked businessmen squandered Cal's millions on 'surefire' investments. Because we all know businessmen are out for the client's best interests...
Tim July 26, 2012 at 12:57 AM
I agree Betsy. It's probably her choice to live this way.
Computer Techy July 26, 2012 at 11:47 AM
I read the description of the armed abductor, but it failed to mention his color or ethnicity. Surely this could help in identifying him.
Rebecca July 26, 2012 at 01:44 PM
If you read anyother posts about this which are in the annoying zone now, he was a skinny white guy in his mid 30's....................let's not start blaming race for this one!
bill July 26, 2012 at 01:49 PM
another stupid article
Jack Weber July 26, 2012 at 05:49 PM
She is a tough lady! God bless Vi.
skj July 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Aseda1. I totally agree with you. When we moved to Aberdeen 20 years ago, I had hopes of raising my children in an "all American" type town. It has gone way downhill since then. The riff-raff that loiters around Rt 40 establishments, drugs, gangs, Section 8, etc has caused Aberdeen's reputation to drop drastically. Police do need to find something to do besides write traffic / parking tickets. There are some well-known gang infested neighborhoods (apartment complexes) around and the police presence is rarely or never seen there. They should be parked out there to monitor activity and run certain elements out.
Zoobie July 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Vi has been abducted, and folks want to tell her how to live. Her car was most likely Seniors last ride, and if her home is set up the way she's always had it, that's her business. She's a nice old gal who's very active in her community, God Bless her! Aberdeens been a rough and tumble town ever since there's been a Military presence there, and it will continue to show its' age while surrounding Harford Co. has many new developments. I'm sure the Aberdeen Police do the best they can on a small town budget. The town's surely due some 'urban renewal', but I say good luck in this economy. Glad you made it home safe Mrs. Ripken, and God Bless you and your Family, whose made a real difference in Maryland.
william July 28, 2012 at 12:22 AM
they screwed up big time when they went to 800 mhz, at one time every house i went into as a cable tech had a scanner monitoring police, fire etc. now no one can afford 500 dollars radios so you have less people looking around and listening to whats happening in their communitys. and i am sure someone is going to say that the criminals are listening too, however more good people were listening then bad people. and as far as unifying the radio system all they had to do was uprade the radios to more channels and have all the depts able to talk to each other.
Ed July 29, 2012 at 06:43 PM
William, a few facts about public service radios. First, there was not enough bandwidth in the lower ends of the broadcast spectrum for every community to have 20 or more channels. Second, at the higher bandwidth, technology allows those 20 "channels" to become 40 or 50 talkgroups,giving even more flexibility to agencies using them. Finally, I don't know where you get you $500 cost figure for a scanner. I got a 1000 channel scanner that follows trunked talk groups for under $200 at Radio Shack a few years ago. They are nowhere near as expensive as you claim.
Dawn July 30, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Really Rebecca????? I read the comments here and NOBODY is blaming race - he simply asked for a description.
HappieGrannie August 01, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Because it was her choice to drive that car and it looks like new because she takes care of it. Vi is happy where she is she has been in that house like forever and to her it is home
Courtney August 03, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Tim, as a businessWOMEN, I can assure you we are looking out for our clients best interest.


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