Queens homeowner confronts intruder with machete

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- What was once a safe haven for a Jamaica, Queens family now feels hollow after a stranger was caught stealing a cell phone and laptop early Wednesday morning.

Just how he got inside and how long he prowled through their belongings are just a few of the questions that still haunt Andre Hardat who came face to face with the intruder.

"I heard footsteps heading out so I opened the door - I saw a figure standing in the doorway," says homeowner Andre Hardat.

"It's heartbreaking because my little niece said to me 'I heard you have a monster in your house,' and she comes over every weekend and he had to tell her I chased the monster away," says Tejwattie Nardeo.

Needless to say the family felt violated knowing someone had crept into and stolen from their home, but then it happened again just two days later, shattering their sense of safety and peace.

Hardat says panicked screams early Friday morning brought him running to his front door again, where he discovered his in-laws and wife struggling to restrain yet another stranger.

"I came in the front and I stood there like 'you're not going anywhere, what are you doing here?' I had a machete in my hand," said Hardat.

Hardat and other neighbors are concerned a new homeless shelter a block away may be attracting new crime. He was able to hold the stranger at bay until police arrived and took him away. This time no belongings were taken but this family's sense of security was stolen.

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