ALBERTSON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police Sunday night were searching for the man responsible for a home invasion on Long Island.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, a senior citizen was asleep in her Albertson home when she was startled by an intruder this past Friday night. She shared her story Sunday to warn others in her Nassau County neighborhood.
The front doors are now quadruple-locked in the home on Lea Place in Albertson, after a terrifying ordeal for the homeowner.
“I’m very scared,” she said. “I’m crying.”
Joginder Chawla was fast asleep this past Friday night when she was awakened by what she thought was her daughter, so she got up to check. Instead she found an intruder inside her house – right in her bedroom doorway.
The man had removed the lightbulb on the porch, and somehow pried open the double locked front door Startled and concerned, Chawla popped out of bed and came face-to-face with a stranger.
“He come to my room and small flashlight on my face,” Chawla said.
Chawla described the invader as about 6 feet 1 inch tall and around 240 pounds, wearing black clothing and a backpack.
“Two, three times, (he said). ‘You go to the room, you go to the room…. He pushed me, I fell down,” she said.
After pushing Chawla down, the suspect fled the same way he had gotten in — taking nothing, and speaking on the cell phone as he left.
The quiet Albertson neighborhood – considered ultra-safe — rocked by the home invasion. .
“It’s been over like 30 years since we’ve had this house, and maybe one incident happened in the whole neighborhood. Everybody’s safe. Everyone knows each other,” said the victim’s daughter, Nikki Chawla.
Chawla’s daughter was stunned by the audacity of the brazen intrusion, and speculated that the modest home was targeted because it looked as if no one was home.
“I’m not sleeping two and three days, not sleeping — all night, not sleeping,” Joginder Chawla said.
“The fact that my mother is scared, that’s very surprising, because she always taught us never to be scared of anything,” Nikki Chawla said.
The family was sharing the story as a warning to neighbors to be on alert – that not even a double locked door is a deterrent.
Nassau County police are investigating the break-in.