by: Torie Wells Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte mother said she was spending time with her children Christmas Eve when four people forced their way inside. She said they forced family members into different rooms inside their apartment on Idlewild Road and stole their rent money.
Police said the four intruders are still out there. The Charlotte mother said she is mad, scared and heartbroken because her children weren't able to have a Christmas. One of her sons even asked why Santa didn't come.
"They put the gun on my head and they make me go inside the room," said the woman named Janiri, who lives in east Charlotte.
She said the robbers left her 7-year-old son with her, but put her 11-year-old daughter and 5-month-old baby in another room. She didn't know where her 2-year-old was.
"I said, 'Please, let me get my kids, please let me get my kids.' They said, 'Shut up lady, shut up, you're doing good. If you do nothing, I'll do nothing to your kids,'" Janiri told Eyewitness News.
In the next room, the daughter said she tried to keep the baby calm and asked the woman what they wanted. She was told to be quiet.
"The guy came to my room throwing the drawers down all over the place," said the 11-year-old girl.
"I was thinking about my kid's life. I just said, 'Shh. Don't say nothing until they left,'" said Janiri.
Once the robbers left, Janiri said she ran out of her room, looking for her 2-year-old son. She was afraid they took him. She found him playing under the table, but saw the TV, her jewelry and money from her purse, including money for rent, were gone. Janiri said her family was left with nothing for Christmas but fear.
"They took everything. We don't even have Christmas dinner because we were nervous, crying, thinking they would come again," she said.
The apartment manager said an off-duty officer patrols the complex and the complex will give the family more time to come up with the rent.
Family members said they didn't recognize the suspects but the suspects knew things about them, which made them think it wasn't random. Police wouldn't comment on that.