What began like any other evening for the Lacerdas soon turned into a harrowing event that the Egg Harbor Township family will never forget.
On Tuesday, May 24, Police say that 31-year-old Ashley Lacerda and 27-year-old Adam Lacerda along with their daughter were about to eat dinner when they suddenly heard a knock on the door.
Ashley went to check the front door where she says she saw a man holding a red pizza box.
“Something must have told me not to open the door all the way, because I only opened it twelve inches,” said Ashley.
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That “something” may have saved the life of her and her family. Ashley noticed a second man approaching the front door.
“Next thing I know, before I’m even near the door she’s stiff-arming the door to slam it shut and they’re starting to push against it,” said Adam.
Investigators say that the couple struggled briefly as their daughter called 911. Ultimately, they were able to keep the intruders out. The two men allegedly fled the scene after being unable to break in.
“I see them both running. That’s when we saw the second person, he had a gun in his right hand,” said Adam.
Police responded to the scene and searched the area. They were unable to find the suspects however.
Police describe the first suspect with the pizza box as a white male between the ages of 30 and 40. They say that he is of medium build, standing between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-8 with dark hair. He is unshaven with an olive complexion, bushy eyebrows and a round face.
He was last seen wearing something dark over his head.
Police believe the second man stands between 5-foot-8 to 6-feet tall though his race is unknown. He was last seen wearing baggy clothing. Police also say that he was armed with a shotgun.
The Lacerdas also believe that the two suspects drove off in a white car.
Neither Adam nor Ashley were injured during the incident. While they are both grateful that no one was hurt, they are still shaken by the traumatizing ordeal.
“I’m very, very angry,” said Ashley.
“They saw my little girl first and yet they still went through with their plan to try and get into our house. Anyone that comes to the door, it scares us.”
The Lacerdas are offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the two suspects.
If you have any information, call the Egg Harbor Township Police at 609-926-4051.