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A door left open at night leads to ‘everyone’s worst nightmare’

Updated: August 19, 2013 2:07PM

In the middle of the night, they awoke to the beams of flashlights in their faces and two men in ski masks hunched over their bed.

The woman, dressed in pajamas, began screaming. Her boyfriend, dressed in boxers, calmed her down. One of the masked men asked in Spanish if anyone else was home. His accomplice translated.

“No, but there’s a big dog downstairs,” said the man, who explained they were moving.

Their North Side house nearly empty, the couple, both 47, had dragged a mattress to the third floor and left the bedroom door to a patio and stairs open a crack in hopes their missing cat would return. Both asked not to be named in this story.

The masked men, who apparently walked right in, wanted cash.

“Do you have any bones?” asked one robber in a Spanish accent. “Bones,” his partner explained, means money.

“We have nothing, look around, please go,” said the man.

Two iPhones were the only things in the room.

It was July 10, about 2 a.m. The tree-lined 3700 block of North Janssen in Roscoe Village was quiet.

The robbers, each about six feet and two hundred pounds, both fit and young, stood next to the bed, feet spread wide, bent at the waist. Neither brandished a weapon.

They grabbed the iPhones. The one who had been translating told the couple: “Don’t go following us, and have a nice day.”

Both went to the patio and descended the stairs. The couple’s dog, a shepherd mix, slept through the robbery. The entire episode lasted about two minutes.

Neither robber laid a hand on the couple, who waited for about five minutes and then drove to a nearby CVS pharmacy where they called police.

“The police were incredibly nice and professional, one officer asked if he could get me anything, like a coffee,” said the man.

None of the officers immediately knew how to check to see if the stolen iPhones could be tracked, the man said. It was a fruitless effort, their tracking features had not been activated.

Neither robber was in custody, police said Tuesday.

“Since the robbery we’ve both been incredibly hyper aware of our surroundings,” the man said.

“It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: two guys in ski masks standing over you in the middle of the night,” said the man, who, after playing out “what if” scenarios in his head, realized things could have been much worse.

“Thank God [my girlfriend’s] two daughters were out of town,” he said. “We’ve had trouble sleeping. We’re getting an alarm system at our new house.”

The couple alerted neighbors about the robbery this week.

And the woman hailed her partner’s instinct to remain calm.

“He’s the hero in this situation,” she said.

As of Tuesday, the cat was still missing.

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