Rochester Home Burglarized as Children Sleep Inches Away

June 18, 2018 06:18 PM

(ABC6 News) It’s not how a family intended to spend Father’s Day: updating their home security after falling victim to a burglary. 

It happened at a residence on Brookstone Drive in Southeast Rochester.

The Stam family didn’t know an intruder had even been in their house until an officer knocked on their door at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

“My husband’s wallet and contents were scattered in a neighbor’s backyard, and it was very confusing, because we didn't know how it had gotten there,” said Jennifer Stam.

Then it dawned on her they had a security camera. She and her husband, Ben, watched the footage. It shows the shadow of a man as he enters their home at 4:07 a.m. Sunday. In the video, you can see his hand and lower arm as he picks up a case containing Oakley sunglasses, puts it back on the kitchen counter, and then picks up a wallet instead. Within minutes, the intruder leaves with the wallet. All the while, an 8-year-old and 10-year-old boy stay fast asleep on a couch. 

“I actually started to hyperventilate. My husband was like, 'calm down, calm down, we have to watch this to see who it was' … but it was complete panic,” Stam said. “I don't think he realized the kids were there, but at the same time, maybe he peeked and saw them and that's what deterred him from coming further and taking anything else.”

Her mind immediately went to the worst-case scenario.

“What if one of the boys would have woken up? Or what if we would have heard something? We don't know if it's a violent person,” Stam said.

She says they always lock their doors at night.

“It was just a fluke that night. We had fallen asleep watching a movie and just forgot to check the doors one more time,” she said. “This has always been a safe neighborhood.”

Most of the homeowners we spoke with didn't want to go on camera; however, all of them were surprised about the burglary and said many of the people who live in the neighborhood are retired or young families.

One neighbor did mention another incident, though.

“In that case, someone’s car got broken into,” said Dan Maloney. “It made me ponder whether or not we should get a neighborhood watch going.”

Another neighbor says she is working on organizing a neighborhood watch, with plans to kick it off in August.  

As for the Stams, they spent Father's Day replacing outdoor sensors and lights.

“We feel violated. Obviously, your home is supposed to be your safe secure space,” Jennifer Stam said.  “We are going to get another camera. If it does happen again, God forbid, maybe we will see more.”

The burglar took off with Ben Stam's ID, his credit cards and about $50 cash. Police are searching for suspects. Anyone with information is asked to contact crime stoppers at 1-800-222 -TIPS. 



Hannah Tiede

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