Saturday, November 28, 2015

97-year-old Cinnaminson woman thwarts burglar

A 97-year-old Cinnaminson woman scared off a burglar with a good smack when he smashed a back window and groped around for the door lock.

97-year-old Cinnaminson woman thwarts burglar


Talk about feisty. 

A 97-year-old Cinnaminson woman smacked a burglar on the hand when he broke the window next to her back door and groped around for the lock.  He took off.      

"Most people, whether they're teenagers or adults, would be running and trying to hide, or calling 911," said Police Det. Sgt. Bill Covert.  "He probably didn’t have any idea what was on other side of door."  

The woman, who was not identified, was not the least bit rattled, Covert said.  She had seen the man pull his car up to her house Friday morning, about 11:30 a.m., and ignored him when he banged on her door.  She peered out her window and saw him return to his car and grab a crowbar. 

She continued to watch as he unsuccessfully tried to pry open the rear door and then smashed the glass pane. 

But when he stuck his hand in, the woman had had enough.  She didn't hesitate to rap him hard.

As he fled, she took note of his license plate.  Covert said state police are trying to track the vehicle down.

It's not the first time a 97-year-old Cinnaminson woman did something remarkable in the face of danger this year.  In January, when  her split-level house exploded and shook the whole town, Marian Sands stood by the back door, still clutching her phone and shih tzu.  She had been trying to explain to PSE&G representatives that she heard a hissing sound, when her entire house went up in flames with a loud boom.   

As her neighbor pulled her away from the flames, she insisted she was fine but kept saying she was worried about her badly burned dog. 

She was hospitalized with minor injuries, but after a few weeks she was back to her old routine. 

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Written by Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler, the Burlco Buzz blog covers breaking news in the the county, as well as its quirky characters, crime cases, politics, outdoor recreation and environment. Contact Jan at

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