A Nutley teenage girl had a close call with a prowler on the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 13, police said.
Here is the account given by authorities:
At 1:49 p.m. police received a frantic phone call from a Nutley woman at her New York workplace. The woman told police she was just on the phone with her 15-year-old daughter who was home alone with an intruder inside the E. Passaic Ave. residence.
Police said the teen told her mother she was hiding in a second-floor linen closet and, after hearing the intruder coming up the stairs, hung up.
As investigators later learned, the intruder opened the door to the closet but never spotted the teen who had concealed herself under bed linens in the closet which, according to one investigator, was about three feet wide and a foot and a half deep.
While rummaging through several rooms, police said the intruder, apparently scared off by the sound of sirens from approaching patrol cars, ran out of the house, in the process, setting off a home security alarm system.
After getting a description of the suspect, police managed to capture a man matching that description just a block away with items taken from the house still on him.
Ahmed Serrano, 51, of Newark, was arrested on charges of burglary and theft. Nutley investigators are working with Bloomfield P.D. on other burglaries to which Serrano may be linked, according to police.
Nutley Police Chief John Holland said the teen had suffered trauma as a result of her narrow escape from the suspect.
Mayor/Public Safety Director Alphonse Petracco commended the actions of the police in quickly apprehending the suspect. He said he was happy that the teen was unharmed.
Serrano, meanwhile, is being held at the Essex County Jail on $50,000 bail. According to police, Serrano had just been released from jail in connection with an unrelated crime three days ago. – Ron Leir