VINELAND — He may have been sorry, but that’s little consolation for Maria Cardona.
Police said Cardona got a considerable shock when she found a man insider her home in the 1000 block of New Pear Street after noon Monday.
The 39-year-old Cardona confronted the man, who apparently entered her house by cutting through a back door screen. Police say Cardona and the burglar shared a conversation:
Cardona: “What are you doing in my house?”
Burglar: “I was just looking for a guy named Greg.”
“No Greg lives here.”
“Is this 1021?”
“No, this is 1022.”
“I’m so sorry. I meant to break into 1021.”
Police say Cardona was upset and frightened with the situation, but asked the subject nicely to leave her residence or she was going to call the police. Before leaving the home, the burglar offered to make amends, police said.
“Cardona said the subject offered to repair her damaged screen window if she wanted,” police said in a report.
Cardona declined the offer and asked the man to leave.
Authorities said Cardona and her disabled 20-year-old son, who was also in the house when the man entered, were not injured. Nothing was taken, they said.
Speaking from her house on Wednesday night, Cardona said nothing like this has ever happened to her before.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” she said. “This is a quiet neighborhood. He just came out of nowhere.”
Cardona said she thought she did the right thing by confronting the man.
“You have to stand your ground,” she said.
Cardona said the man made her nervous as he told her about his family and kept a hand in his pocket.
“I thought he had a knife or something,” she said.
Cardona said the man further took her by surprise when he offered to repair the screen door. She said that was an offer she had no intention of accepting.
“He was really polite,” Cardona said. “He just scared me, though. I just wanted him to get out.”
Police also said that Kathryn DiFrancisco, who also lives in the 1000 block of New Pear Street, told them the suspect may have been the same man who asked her for a glass of water a few minutes before entering Cardona’s home.
Police describe the suspect as being a thin white male in his 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with “shabby” facial hair and blue eyes. The man was wearing a black T-shirt, dark denim jeans with three white stripes on the side, and black-and-tan sneakers. The man has a tattoo across the knuckles of his left hand.
The investigation is ongoing.
Contact Thomas Barlas: