"Why? Why are you hurting people?"
That's the question an elderly Vineland woman has for two men who she says terrorized her during a home invasion.
It happened Sunday, shortly after 9 a.m. at her home on Lincoln Avenue.
The frail, 80-year-old widow tells NBC10 she was sleeping in bed when two men forced open the back door of her home, shined a cellphone light in her eyes and demanded money.
“I thought I was going to die,” said the woman, who does not want to be identified.
The woman tells NBC10 she begged the men not to hurt her, just before one of them put a pillow over her face.
“I know I’m old but I didn’t want my life to end like that,” said the woman.
The woman claims she tried to press her medical alert system that sits next to her bed.
“I tried to put my hand over to push ‘help,’” said the woman. “But they pushed my hand away.”
The robbers stole more than $1,000 in cash from the woman’s handbag and nearly all her jewelry. She called police around 25 minutes later when the men could no longer be heard inside.
NBC10’s Ted Greenberg spoke to Detective Sergeant Paul Shadinger of the Vineland Police Department.
“Do you think these guys went to that house because an older woman lives there?” asked Greenberg.
“Yes,” replied Detective Sergeant Shadinger. “We believe there are a couple individuals going around now, looking for elderly folks.”
Within the past month, two similar break-ins have happened in the same part of Vineland. Unlike the most recent case however, the senior citizens in those incidents weren’t at their homes.
“We actually think they may have believed she was at church or something,” said Detective Sergeant Shadinger.
The woman had planned to give the cash to her grandchildren for Christmas until the two robbers took it all.
While the woman was badly shaken, she was not injured physically. A $1,000 reward from the Crimestoppers of Vineland is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.
If you have any information on this incident, call Crimestoppers at 856-691-0345.