A 33-year-old Providence woman and her 4-year-old daughter were frightened but otherwise unharmed by three men who barged into their home Thursday afternoon.
The woman outlined what she described as a "terrifying" encounter with the men, all of whom were wearing black masks.
The woman said one of the men got into the Oxford Street house through the front door when her 4-year-old opened the door thinking it was someone else. She said the other two men got in by forcing their way through the back door.
The woman said after being patted down to make sure she had no cell phone on her, the men shoved her and her daughter into a bathroom. They also threatened her with a large kitchen knife, she said.
The woman said the three intruders spent 25 minutes ransacking the house, stealing all of the valuables and electronics she owned.
Neighbors, especially parents, said the home invasion highlights the need to be more alert.
Ricky Ricardo is the father of a little girl only one year younger than the victim's daughter.
"I have to be careful, and close the doors in the night, and, you know, be more careful, and keep my eyes open," Ricardo said.
Another resident named Michael is the father of an 8-year-old boy. He said he was so worried about crime in the area, that he didn't feel comfortable sharing his last name.
"You've got to watch out. There's crazy people out there. That's that, you know what I mean? You never know who's going to come to you. You never know. So, lock your doors," he said.
All of the neighbors who spoke to NBC 10 said they'd like to see more police patrols added.
"Police. More police. More police on the street, especially this area. You can stay the whole day, and you only see probably one car going around. I want to see more police," Ricardo said.
"This neighborhood is pretty bad, you know what I mean? I hope it gets better. There needs to be more policemen around here or something, you know what I mean, to take care of this. I don't feel like I see enough policemen," Michael said.
The woman said because she was in the bathroom, she didn't see whether the three men left on foot or in a car. But she was able to notice that two of the men wore all black, while one wore gray.
Providence police asked anyone who might know something about the home invasion to call them at 401-272-3121.