A Hollis mom jumped from the window of her apartment on Monday afternoon in an attempt to flee from two men who had forced their way into the dwelling and were reportedly intending to rob her.
Amalia Vargas was standing outside the house at 93-14 202 Ave. when she was approached by a man who said he was there to fix the pipes, police said. Then a second individual approached the woman and forced her inside the home.
The Daily News reported the two robbers were wearing black ski masks and one of them was armed with a gun. The paper said the victim’s son, Yoldalyn Canela, and daughter, Marilyn Canela, came home while the robbery was in progress and were taken hostage, but the NYPD would not confirm that.
Vargas jumped out a window to escape and get help. She sustained injuries from the fall and was taken to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, where she was in stable condition as of Tuesday, police said.
The robbers — who remain at large — searched through the apartment for about 30 minutes before leaving with jewelry and an iPhone, according to the Daily News. A spokesman for the NYPD said Wednesday it is unknown what, if anything, was stolen.
No one answered the door at the Vargas apartment on Tuesday, but neighbor Barbara Hines, 51, who has lived across the street for the last eight years, was stunned when she came home from a shopping trip and found numerous cops and an ambulance stationed there.
“At first I thought someone was sick because there are a lot of old people and a lot of young kids on the block,” Hines said. “Then I saw all these cop cars and I thought, what in the world is going on?”
Hines said when she questioned one of the officers, the cop told her there had been a robbery committed by teenagers.
“I said ‘How did that happen?’ This block is nice and quiet,” she recalled. “People come. People go. People on this block, they go to work and they come home. Kids on the block, they go to school and come home. When the kids come outside, the parents come outside. When the kids go in the house, the parents go in the house.”
Hines said she believes if there were more programs to help young people in the community, there would be less crime.
“They need a summer job, or they need a job, period,” Hines said. “I feel like this — if you can rob somebody, go in the Army. If you can cook, go flip a burger. Do something. They need to have something to do. They’re bored.”
The investigation is ongoing, according to the NYPD. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 577-TIPS (8477).The public can also submit tips by logging onto nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting 274637 (CRIMES), then entering TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential.