A Lawrence woman locked herself in her bathroom and called the police after she saw two men break into her home Tuesday afternoon. After she screamed through the door that police were on their way, the men fled, only to be captured a short distance away, police said.
The 40-year-old woman was in her Nesmith Street home at about 4 p.m. when she allegedly saw two men break in and start rummaging through several rooms. She ran to her second-floor bathroom, locked herself in, and called police.
She whispered to a police dispatcher on the phone, and officers rushed to the scene, police said.
When she heard the two men approach her bedroom on the second floor, she started screaming, “I called the police and they are on their way!” The two men allegedly ran down the stairs, police said.
The woman said she saw the men run out of the home carrying DVDs and video games from her son’s bedroom, police said.
When police arrived, they searched the area and found two men matching the woman’s descriptions a few blocks away on Essex Street, police said.
David Rivera, 19, of Lawrence, and Luis Contreras-Pagan, 19, of Haverhill, were allegedly seen carrying a DVD, PlayStation games, and PlayStation Portable games. A witness said he saw one of the men break a Craig voice recorder in half and throw it on the ground, police said.
The Lawrence woman said she had bought the recorder for her son. The child confirmed the games the men were carrying were his, according to police.
The two men pleaded not guilty in Lawrence District Court at their arraignment on Wednesday. Each was charged with breaking and entering and receiving stolen property over $250, according to a spokeswoman for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.
Contreras-Pagan was also charged with giving a false name to police officers.
Both men are being held on $1,500 cash bail. If they post bail, they are ordered to stay away from the victims, stay in school, and attend probation meetings once a week, said spokeswoman Carrie Kimball-Monahan.
They are both to return to court April 9, said Kimball-Monahan.Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp.