Police look for pattern in L.I. home invasions

November 6, 2008 2:24:36 PM PST
Police are investigate a number of home invasions on Long Island that could be connected. Police say a quiet middle class neighborhood has been hit at least four times since October.

In two cases police say the robber used a handgun forcing victims to give up their wedding rings.

Madeline Brown never thought she'd be in a life or death situation like Wednesday night with a gun to her face.

It all happened as she walked just a few feet from her house to her car to grab a shopping bag, when out of nowhere a man grabbed her by the neck and pried her mothers engagement ring off her hand

"I said help me help me someone's trying to kill me," said Brown.

The suspect then dragged Madeline inside her home where she says he grabbed her chest with force, the gun still pointed at her

She adds, "He ripped my shirt and then he tried to rip it off more and that's when my husband came in.

Joe Brown came from their bedroom with a cane in his hand that somehow scared the armed suspect

As the suspect ran down the street, Madeline called 911 and police began casing the neighborhood. A composite sketch shows the suspect to be in his early 20's, with a thin to medium build.

Police say just before the incident the suspect struck another home nearby but that one was unoccupied.

And in early October cops say a man with a similar description pulled the same stunt on another homeowner in the area.

"He confronted a female in her home and stole her rings. We are looking at that connection," said Det. Sgt. Tony Repalone.

While Madeline and Joe feel thankful to be alive their story is instilling fear as to who this man might strike next.

"We are going to lock our doors. You think you are safe on a dead end street in a cul-de-sac and you're not," said one neighbor.

Police say anyone with information should call crime stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Emily Smith
WEB PRODUCED BY: Scott Curkin

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