MILLBURN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey family was ambushed in front of their home, targeted for their Range Rovers.
Police said the family had just returned from a Thanksgiving vacation when thieves attacked them and drove off in one of their sport-utility vehicles.
It happened on a residential street in Short Hills where the family had just gotten home from Newark Airport after a long weekend. They returned to unwanted visitors who grabbed their 13-year-old child threatening her life.
The girl had just been released when Millburn Police surrounded the family’s home. The family of four was held up by two gunmen demanding cash and keys to the family’s two Range Rovers.
“We were on vacation, short Thanksgiving trip,” the mother of the family said.
It all happened in a flash after that.
“It was around 1:30, we were unloading the car,” she said.
The mother and one of the sisters of the family went right inside. The father was carrying a large bag with his 13-year-old daughter trailing behind. She was grabbed by one of the suspects who threatened to kill her, and pinned her up against one of the Range Rovers as ransom.
“They got out of the vehicle, approached us, my dad gave them what they needed and took off with the car,” the older sister said.
She described a tense situation.
“We were shocked, but what are you supposed to do. Aren’t going to panic, the best thing we could do is appease them until we had my sister. They left, got what they wanted, its out of our hands now,” she said.
She said the men also forcefully took her sister’s backpack full of toys.
Cops said one vehicle was taken and eventually recovered in Newark using a GPS app. The other was left behind when the thieves couldn’t get it started.
The father spoke to CBS2 off camera, and explained that they left one of their cars outside of the home’s gate to make it look like there was someone home while they were away.
He believes the family arrived while the men were attempting to break into the car.
The family has several security cameras, but said the system was not turned on.
The carjacking comes several years after a fatal carjacking at the nearby Short Hills Mall in 2013.