New York

New Jersey Sisters, 11 and 13, Awake to Sound of Burglars, Hide in Closet as They Wait for Police

The two girls hid in the closet as they waited for police

What to Know

  • Police in Tenafly, New Jersey, are looking for the men who broke into a home Saturday morning while two young girls slept inside
  • They fled in a Dodge Magnum wagon with NY plates, according to police
  • No one was physically hurt, but the girls are traumatized, their mother says. Anyone with information is asked to contact Tenafly police

A New Jersey mother says her young daughters are traumatized after waking up to find burglars in their home Saturday morning, and is pleading for the public's help finding the men. 

Jennifer Yanowitz said she stepped out briefly Saturday morning as her 11-year-old and 13-year-old daughters slept in on the quiet Tenafly block. Two burglars intruded, climbing up to a rear second-floor balcony and breaking through a locked door to get into the master bedroom, she said.

The older daughter walked into the room soon after and saw the suspects rifling through their parents' belongings. 

"She saw the two of them standing with baseball bats and a crow bar," said Yanowitz. "She's 13 years old, and she just ran for her life." 

The teenage girl grabbed her 11-year-old sister, and together hid in the closet, waiting for police. 

"She was talking to police, telling them that somebody broke in," said Yanowitz. "I was crying and she was crying. It was really scary."

The thieves ultimately ran off in a black Dodge Magnum wagon with New York license plates, authorities said. The girls were not physically hurt. 

"They also didn't know if they were going to be OK -- they were waiting to be OK," said Yanowitz. "They didn't know if they were going to be followed or attacked. They were fearing for their lives." 

The fear, the experience and the suspects now haunt the family. 

"I know that it can happen again, and we're doing more stuff to stop it, but it's just really scary," said Yanowitz. "I don't want my friends to go through this. I don't want my family to go through this." 

The family believes the thieves first cased the house before breaking in by ringing the doorbell to see if anyone would open. Cops say they believe the intruders made off with a watch. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tenafly police at 201-568-5100. 

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