A quick-thinking teenage boy is being hailed as a hero today for protecting his parents and their money from a band of punks who invaded their Westchester home.
The 17-year-old heard voices late last night that didn't sound like his parents', and he had a frightful suspicion that his family was being robbed, police said. The son stealthily snuck out of his upstairs bedroom and walked downstairs; his fears were confirmed.
Clear-headed in the face of his home being invaded, the boy cautiously went back upstairs, hid in a closet and called the cops on his cell phone. Then he was discovered.
The robbers heard the phone, bolted up the stairs and brought the boy down to where they were holding his parents. His mother's hands and feet were bound with plastic ties and soon the boy found himself in a similar plight. His father had been cut loose so he could open the family safe.
It wasn't long before police arrived, thanks to the teenager's quick thinking. Cops rushed to the home and arrested one suspect, Francisco Cordero, who they found in the kitchen. The other three robbers ran off into the night; police are still searching for them.
The suspect's car was never found; police figured someone dropped him off at the house. The bandits didn't make off with any cash, according to police.
All four suspects were wearing masks, so it wasn't clear whether the victims knew their attackers. But it was clear that the boy saved the day. His mother, Angela DiPaolo, said she was "very proud. very proud," after what she called a "very frightening" experience.
"It took a lot of guts," Greenburgh Police Chief John Kapica said. "If it wasn't for him, God knows what would have happened."
The chief estimated it took about 10 minutes for cops to arrive from the moment the suspects first invaded the victims' home.
Cordero's arraignment is scheduled for today. His last known address is in Yonkers. He has 13 previous arrests, including seven convictions – four felonies and one violent crime. Cops said he's spent extensive time in prison, including on robbery charges.