Watch CBS News

73-year-old Ramona Cartagena says suspects tied her up, taped her mouth in Clifton, NJ home invasion

73-year-old woman says home invaders tied her up and taped mouth
73-year-old woman says home invaders tied her up and taped mouth 02:08

CLIFTON, N.J. -- A terrifying home invasion left a 73-year-old grandmother tied up while two men ransacked her home in Clifton, New Jersey

Ramona Cartagena described in detail what happened inside her home at around noon Sunday.

Cartagena was standing at her kitchen island, working on a wreath, when she heard the door open. 

"I thought it was my husband, that he came back," said Cartagena. 

It wasn't her husband. Instead, two men wearing black masks stepped inside. 

"I just froze," said Cartagena. 

One of the men walked over to her while the other stayed by the door. 

"The only thing he say, 'Don't move.' He said it in Spanish," said Cartagena. "He just grabbed me by my hand, he took the tape, my own tape, and he wrapped my hand, he wrapped my feet and he put tape in my mouth." 

Cartagena stayed on the floor while the men destroyed bedrooms in search of valuables. She heard them walk out the front door, then ripped the tape off her mouth and called police, she said. 

"They took something that is going to be very hard to replace. They took my daughter's jewelry,"  said Cartagena.

Cartagena's daughter died in 2021 and now the heirlooms meant for her are stolen. 

"They stole my confidence," said Cartagena. 

Cartagena drew pictures of the suspects to help police track them down. One wore glasses and boasted a distinct logo on his jacket, she remembered. 

"I watch a lot of 'CSI,' 'Forensic Files,'" she said. "In the show, they always say try to remember." 

Cartagena said she's lived in the home for 25 years and never had problems. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Clifton Police Detective Bureau. Callers can remain anonymous. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.