FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A man and woman are in jail in connection with a home invasion in Tamarac where two children were home alone.
Kevin Skolnick was arrested Wednesday, August 21st and Jennifer Senatore was arrested a day earlier.
Both are charged with Burglary and Grand Theft; Senatore has an additional charge of marijuana possession.
According to BSO investigators, Skolnick and Senatore broke into Romel Bryan’s home while Bryan’s 13-year-old and 11-year-old daughters were home alone for about an hour Friday, August 16th.
The 13-year-old told CBS 4 News that she and her sister were relaxing when they heard a knock at the door.
“They knocked a couple of times,” the girl said, declining to give her name. “Then one of them started getting impatient.”
Shortly after, the teen says she heard a front window get smashed in. She says she and her 11 year old sister ran for the back door but that’s where the intruders were headed. The sisters ran for the bathroom and locked themselves in.
“I was scared that they would get us and tie us up or something,” she said.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office says the suspects, Skolnick and Senatore, came into the home and started stealing stuff. The sisters hid and huddled in the bathroom and called their father.
“It’s very terrifying feeling knowing that your daughter, your kids are in danger and you can’t be there immediately,” he told CBS 4′s Carey Codd.
Bryan told his daughter to call 911 as he raced home. On the other end of the 911 call was BSO Communication Training Officer Shakita Nyodele. She says the teen was calm and helped give vital information to catch the suspects.
“We deal with so much negative on a day to day,” she said. “To actually have a great outcome or a positive outcome out of something that could have been real negative, I’m happy. I’m elated.”
Romel Bryan says he can’t believe his family’s security was violated like this and says this easily could have had a much more devastating outcome.
“It’s very creepy,” he said. “They just walk in here like they own the place. Didn’t even care if anybody was inside.”
Bryan says his daughters are doing fine and are not scared at all being in their home. Instead he is the one who is a nervous wreck at the thought of ever leaving his daughters home alone again.
“I would think they would be terrified to even stay home by themselves anymore but they don’t mind,” he said. “It’s me that doesn’t want to leave them at home by themselves anymore.”
Bryan told police his two daughters hid in a bathroom and called 911 after two people broke into their home.
Sheriff’s officials said they don’t know whether Bryan’s house was picked at random, or if the thieves mistook the house for somebody else’s.
Skolnick may have thought Bryan’s house was the site of a prior drug deal gone bad, in which Skolnick claims he was injured and robbed of $5,000, officials said.
Sheriff’s officials said Senatore told them she sent Skolnick with the money to buy oxycontin.
Skolnick and Senatore went to the house on Northwest 73rd Terrace “with the intention of either getting back her $5,000 or stealing something worth this same value,” according to the sheriff’s report released Wednesday.
Bryan said the intruders entered his home and stole his laptop and daughter’s cellphone, before turning the knob on the locked bathroom door and jiggling it before going away.
Police were able to find the duo with the help of an alert neighbor who spotted the suspect’s car leaving the home and wrote down the license plate.