Boy, 11, Returns From School to Find Intruder in House: 'When He Saw Me, He Took Off'
An 11-year-old New Jersey boy walked into his house and came face-to-face with an intruder, police said.
Allan Shneyderman had just come home from school when he walked inside and put down his backpack, home surveillance video shows.
He goes into a room off camera, then is seen walking back and out the front door. But minutes before he arrived, a man is seen walking through the house and looking around.
“I hear a noise – someone shuffling through a paper or something, or he’s trying to look through drawers,” the boy told WCBS-TV on Monday.
“Then when I look around the corner there’s this man with a hoodie, black shirt, black jeans, and yellowish shoes standing there just looking at me,” he said.
“My heart immediately started pounding,” he said. “When he saw me, he took off.”
The boy ran to his neighbor, who called police.
Gail DeGraaf asked if Allan was OK. “He said, ‘No. there’s a stranger in my house,’’’ she told the station.
The Wayne Police Department asked for the public’s help in locating the burglary suspect, posting an image of him from the home video.
Thomas Coughlin, 23, was later arrested in his Pompton Lakes home, police said. He was charged with theft and burglary and held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
“I was so happy I caught him before he stole anything,” the sixth-grader said, though the intruder did make off with the boy’s cell phone, he said.
He also was happy that his grandmother, who had just stepped outside, was not in the house when the man entered through a sliding glass door.
“I mean I wish that he would just be a normal person and not decide to steal things, and be civilized,” the child said.