Kenner home invasion victim opens up about harrowing experience

Kenner burglary victim talks about her ordeal

KENNER, LA (WVUE) - An elderly Kenner woman who used a closet as a sanctuary to avoid detection by burglars inside her home shared her experience with FOX 8 News on Friday.

"It was about one o'clock in the morning, Wednesday morning, and I was sound asleep, and I heard these noises and sounded like somebody trying to get in, but it didn't make sense to me. I kept thinking none of my children is trying to get in," she said.

She would wake up enough to realize what was unfolding in her home.

"I heard the girl talk, that's when I really realized it, and so I slipped off the bed, which is right over there, and got to where if they looked in my room they wouldn't see me, and I called 911," she said.

It was a plan that kept the 84-year-old safe.

"The Kenner Police were here within three minutes and they were great, they caught them," she said.

Kenner police said once they got to the Lake Trail Drive address, they spotted a white Hyundai Sonata parked across the street from the victim's home. Two people were getting inside the car, but cops investigated and later determined they were the suspects. Kenner police identified them as 19-year-old Mario Amay and 20-year-old Deborah Labatut.

Cops said Amaya still was wearing a torn latex glove. A search of the victim's home revealed a forced entry through a door next to the garage as well as a ripped latex glove.

"I didn't see them face to face," the victim said.

Items stolen from the victim are now safely back in her custody.

"It's things that my husband was manager of an insurance company office, and those were things they gave to people. They're not worth anything, the one thing that was a necklace probably, it's gold, but the rest of it is just yellow metal, it's not gold." she said.

Police said Amaya jumped the victim's fence and used a crowbar to get inside the home and then let his accomplice in to act as a lookout as he rummaged through the place.

"And went straight upstairs, thank goodness, so I never did face them," the victim said.

She does not believe they had ever been in her home, and despite the ordeal, fear does not immediately come to her mind. But she does have a message for the young suspects.

"They should concentrate their energies on something worthwhile," she said.

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