ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Stunning surveillance video captures the moments an intruder robbed a New Jersey family.
CBS2’s Tara Jakeway spoke with the young mother terrified for her two kids as she watched in horror from inside the home.
The eerie home video is every homeowner’s worst nightmare.
“Somebody, a stranger was in your house when you were sleeping, that’s the worst feeling,” said Claudia Rocha.
But it happened in her Elizabeth home Sunday night. She was asleep in an upstairs bedroom when her phone started ringing off the hook. It was her daughter calling from her bedroom in the basement.
“She started screaming and feeling that he was going to attack her,” Rocha said.
Nicole, 15, spotted the man in the main floor living room on an app linked to surveillance cameras. She checked those cameras after hearing noise upstairs.
“He was, for more than an hour, in my house, walking around, going outside, coming back,” Claudia Rocha said.
Rocha, 41, had installed throughout the house after a previous break-in. Video shows the suspect getting into the home through a back door, swiping her purse from a kitchen chair and emptying every bag in her closet.
At one point, Claudia says she saw the man peep through her bedroom door. She says she leaves it open so that her 5-year-old can come inside. Thankfully, Sunday night, that’s where the child was, safely curled up with her mother.
Once he moved on, and was caught head-on in the living room camera, she made her move.
“And that’s when closed the door and I called police and I asked the police to come,” she said.
Her cries for help startled the man and he ran out the front door, making off with her purse. With all three ladies unharmed, it could have been worse.
“Stay calm, stay quiet. She did the best she could do,” said Abraham Salmon, the father of Rocha’s younger daughter.
Salmon praised her older sister’s actions, but he’s implementing his own security plan.
“I actually picked up my dog from my house and dropped my dog over here,” he said.
While police hunt for the man in the video, the 100-pound dog named “Honey” will be standing guard at the West End Avenue home.