By Jeff Bahr
A home burglary was thwarted when a 15-year-old Nutley girl, home alone at the time of the break-in, used her cell phone to summon help before dashing off to hide from the intruder. The drama unfolded just before 2 p.m. on Aug. 13 when the startled girl heard the sounds of a burglar breaking into her East Passaic Avenue home.
Shocked by the nightmare now underway, the girl called her mother on her cell phone. As she told her what was happening, she heard the intruder trudge upstairs toward the room that she occupied. The girl then retreated to a threefoot by one-and-one-half foot closet and hid beneath a pile of bed linens. As the man ransacked the home, he opened the closet door where the girl was hiding. Luckily, he didn’t spot her and continued on to other rooms in the house. The girl’s mother called Nutley police from her New York office to tell them of her daughter’s plight.
Described as a “frantic call from the girl’s mother,” by Nutley Public Safety Director Alphonse Petracco, police were soon dispatched to the house with sirens blaring.
The noise prompted the intruder to flee the premises, but he didn’t get far. Ahmed Serrano, 51, of Newark, was apprehended just one block from the crime scene with the stolen proceeds still in his possession. He was arrested and charged with burglary and theft.
Nutley police are working in conjunction with Bloomfield detectives to investigate other burglaries that Serrano may have been a part of.