SITTING just outside her lounge room, a mum breaks down in tears as she tells of how her Pakenham home no longer feels like her own.
Just after 11.30pm on Saturday 12 November, her Balmoral Way home was stormed by three brazen youths who physically assaulted her husband as they tried to push into the home and get the keys to their family car.
Mum of three Sonia Gallangher recalled the horror when she saw her eldest daughter Natasha, 13, emerge from her bedroom, panicking at the sound of her mum’s screams.
Three erratic, masked youths were advancing toward hers’ and her six-year-old twin sisters’ bedrooms.
But the young offenders, two described as Caucasian, the other of African appearance, didn’t make it far into the house.
Dad Aaron Gallangher grabbed the trio, pushing them out the front door – but not before being belted over the back of the head with a chain.
The terrifying home invasion was caught on CCTV installed by the family a year ago after several theft attempts were made on the family’s property.
The family had arrived home from a birthday celebration for their six-year-old twins, Bella and Chala, but forgot to lock their car before settling for the night.
CCTV footage shows the three youths open up the door to Sonia’s Ford XR6 parked in the driveway, then attempt to open her husband’s car before advancing toward the family home.
With his fingertips covered by his hoodie, one youth opens up the front door and ushers his associates to sneak into the house left unlocked after a family friend left moments earlier.
All three enter the home, and are immediately confronted by both parents who were in the kitchen making food.
For the next 45 seconds, the three youths shoved the dad and jumped around the room demanding the keys to the unlocked car.
“What got me is that they kept coming closer,” Sonia recalled, telling she had to scream at her daughter to get back into her room as she emerged with the youth crims just a few paces away. Chains were believed to be wrapped around the knuckles of at least one of the offenders who punched the defensive dad to the back of the head.
All three then fled out the front door as they discovered the loaded punch failed to take down Aaron.
CCTV shows him chasing the trio out the door.
Witnesses on Parman Avenue have reported seeing three youths running toward a black Suzuki Swift readied with a getaway driver. They were picked up, and sped away from the scene.
Sonia and her family have lived in the rental home for three-and-a-half years, but the mum said it no longer felt like their own.
“I feel really violated and angry. This house doesn’t feel like mine anymore. I don’t like the lounge room anymore. I tried to put up the Christmas tree and put out presents to make it feel different, but it’s not working,” Sonia said.
She said sleeping had been difficult since the aggravated burglary, and had relied on heavy medications to rest.
Two police units responded to the family’s panicked triple-zero call soon after the invasion.
Detectives were on scene the next morning taking evidence from the scene, and urged anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.