The theme song from NBC's Law and Order is being credited for helping police track down a violent robber. Police in Paterson, New Jersey say two masked men forced their way into a home on Market Street on Wednesday night around 9:45 p.m.
A woman who only wants to be identified by her first name Carolyn, said she was home with her daughter and her two grandchildren.
"We rushed to the door where we were met with a gunshot. You know, barrel of a gun we looked right in it," she said. She said one of the men ordered them to the ground, "Get down, get down! Don't look at me, don't look at me. I'll shoot you!"
The gunshot narrowly missed Carolyn's 9 year old grandson. She said the gunman then held the gun to her oldest grandson's head an screamed, "Where's the weed! Where's the weed." She said her grandson replied, "I don't know, I don't know nothing."
Very quickly, the men realized they were in the wrong home. But instead of leaving emptyhanded, they took a cellphone belonging to Carolyn's daughter. When the family returned to the detective bureau of the Paterson Police department and began giving their statements, they told Lieutenant Richard Reyes that her cellphone ringtone was the theme song from Law and Order.
"Some of my detectives were in an area where we believed the suspects to be," said Lieutenant Reyes. "So I dialed the cellphone number, and sure enough, the Law and Order theme song came up and that helped lead them straight to the suspect. Not only was he arrested, they also recovered the weapon."
23 year old Michael Richardson was arrested for robbery, possession of a weapon, and assault. Police are still looking for his accomplice.
"We were upset he took the cellphone," said Carolyn. "But it turned out to be a good thing."
Lieutenant Reyes said this case was different and interesting because although the victims were terrified, they were fascinated by the police work.
"They were really Law and Order fans and were very enthusiastic about helping us solve the case."
Carolyn says her daughter is a huge fan of NBC's crime drama, but when violence came barging through their door, they could not just change the channel. Now they are thanking a higher being for their lives.
"I pray every day when I think about it. It was his grace and his mercy because we could have been so easily killed," said Carolyn. "These guys were not playing. It wasn't a joke they were serious, they just burst in my house, they didn't care."