87-year-old Niles woman ‘traumatized’ after armed robbery at home

Published 6:00 am Friday, January 22, 2016

An 87-year-old Niles woman says she is still traumatized after being robbed at gunpoint at her home in the 100 block of North 12th Street Tuesday morning.

Nadine Weightman said she was getting her 68-year-old daughter, who has special needs, ready for school when she heard a knock at her door, at approximately 7:45 a.m.

Thinking it was the bus driver, Weightman opened the door to find a masked man holding a small pistol. He forced his way inside.

“He said, ‘I’ve come for one thing and that’s money,’” Weightman said.

The man, she said, ended up leaving a few minutes later with some cash and three phones.

But before he did, Weightman said he threatened to kill her and her daughter if she called the police.

“He was waving that gun at me and my daughter all this time,” she said.

Fearing for her safety, Weightman said she did not call police and that it was a neighbor who saw the person near her front door who called authorities.

Too afraid to go home, Weightman said she has been staying elsewhere since the incident and is looking for a new place to live permanently.

“It was very, very traumatic,” she said. “I am not going back. I can’t. I couldn’t lay down at night there. My stomach is still jumping from all this.”

Fortunately, she said, no one was injured.

Det. Richard Krueger, of the Niles Police Department, said police followed the suspect’s footprints in the snow to an area nearby where police believe the suspect entered a vehicle.

No one has been arrested at this time and authorities are asking for the public’s help.

The suspect is described as being a black male of average height and build. He was wearing a black snowsuit and a black ski mask.

The victim told police she paid a person to shovel her driveway earlier in the week. That person was also a black male, although it is not known if that person is the same individual who robbed her.

Police are seeking information from anyone in the neighborhood who may have noticed someone knocking on doors or asking to shovel snow.

Det. Chad Mitchell is advising people not to open the door to strangers and not to pay adult strangers who ask to shovel snow.

Anyone with information can call the police department at (269) 683-1313 or enter a tip anonymously at tipsoft.com.