A violent home invasion rape and robbery shocked a Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood Tuesday.
“It makes me nervous for my kids and you just never know who's watching you,” said Marcie Galanti who lives on the block where the home invasion happened.
A gun-wielding man forced his way into a house on the 3200 block of Lester Road Tuesday around 3:30 p.m. Once inside the man allegedly tied up and sexually assaulted a 39-year-old woman who was home alone, police said.
He stole about $8,000 in cash and three laptops.
Neighbors helped the woman after she ran out of the home still tied up, partially clothed.
Stanley Puchalski a retired police officer who lives next door said his wife saw the attacker leaving from the back of the house.
“All of a sudden she seen a fellow jump over the fence, carrying a backpack, running,” Puchalski said. “She yelled to me and by the time I got in the yard he was gone."
Police described the attacker as a 6-foot-2 black male weighing about 240 pounds with a mustache and goatee. He was wearing dark clothing and carrying a dark backpack.
The woman’s family runs a nail salon, according to neighbors. They work six days a week but Tuesday was their day off.
Her husband was actually home but left a short time before the attack, neighbors said. He didn’t want to speak on camera, but told us his wife is in the hospital and this is a very sad time for their family.
Police are investigating whether the family was targeted and are working with the description of the alleged suspect.
In the meantime neighbors are left wondering how this happened in quiet neighborhood during the day.
"I just don't know how -- with all these people home during the day -- how someone could walk into someone's home and do what they did," said neighbor Dawn Smith.
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