QUEENS, New York (WABC) -- A man has been terrorizing homeowners in the Queens Village, Glen Oaks and New Hyde Park area by breaking into their houses in the middle of the day, ransacking the homes and stealing cash, jewelry and luxury items. A second man may also be involved.
The NYPD said five houses have been broken into since July 24. Each case involves a side door or window being broken into.
Typically, the homeowners are not inside the residences at the time. The suspect seems to arrive right after the homeowners leave, although in one case he removed a basement window, stuck his head through, only to be confronted by the homeowner. He fled the scene.
It's believed, in at least one case, the man used a Wi-Fi jammer to attempt to disconnect the home's security cameras.
It happened at the house of Imran Ahmed, of Queens Village.
Ahmed provided Eyewitness News with exclusive surveillance video which showed a man on July 24 around 2:45 p.m. crawling into his house.
He slides across the floor, covering his face and body with a white sheet and he has a backpack in front of his head. He pushes along the floor a large, black device, which is believed to be the Wi-Fi jammer.
"We got an alert around 2:30 that our Wi-Fi went out," Ahmed told Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne. "We didn't think anything of it."
Unknown to the suspect, Ahmed had a camera inside his house which did not need to connect to Wi-Fi in order to record.
It showed the suspect go up the steps to the second floor of the home and then come down about an hour later. He pulls out a walkie talkie and says what sounds like, "Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony."
The suspect starts to walk out of the house by going through the kitchen, but that's when the Wi-Fi reconnects and a loud alarm goes off. A man can be seen scurrying out the side window that he broke into.
Ahmed said the man stole cash and jewelry. Some of them were family heirlooms.
"We're literally two blocks from the precinct," he said. "To have something like this happen is very scary."
Police released surveillance video Thursday of one of the men they believe they're looking for. It was taken from a home that was later robbed of $30,000 worth of jewelry and an $8,000 Louis Vuitton purse. It showed a man in a medical face mask walk up to the front door holding a pallet of water, seeming to pretend to do a water delivery.
Eyewitness News spoke with several homeowners who were victimized recently.
A man in Glen Oaks said his parents had left their home when someone broke in around 6:30 a.m. through a back window.
"The closets were flipped inside out," the man said. "All the drawers in the bedrooms were flipped out onto the beds. They went through everything. Seemed like they had a lot of time."
Another homeowner in Glen Oaks said when she left the house with her family on Monday, July 29 around 1 p.m., someone broke into a side door and ransacked their home.
"Everything was a mess," she said. "There was glass everywhere. They took our money and some jewelry. My hands were trembling as I was trying to call 911."
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