A group of suspects are accused of bounding an elderly couple with belts and holding a 15-month-old at gunpoint during a spree of chaotic California home invasions.
Police responded to the first report of a home invasion in San Jose around 4:00 p.m. on May 31, the San Jose Police Department stated in a Thursday press release.
“Five to six suspects bound an elderly couple with belts, brandished a handgun and violently assaulted the victims,” the press release alleges. “The suspects stole various personal items, including bank cards, jewelry and the victim's vehicle, then fled prior to police arrival.”
Then, the group allegedly drove the elderly couple’s vehicle to a second home invasion where “five suspects held a male victim and his 15-month-old at gunpoint.”
The suspects allegedly threatened to shoot the child.
They then allegedly kidnapped the adult victim, forcing him to go to his bank and withdraw money from his account for them.
“The suspects returned with the victim to his home and stole various personal items, including bank cards and jewelry,” the press release alleges. The fleeing suspects were captured on a dash camera on the man's wife's car as she arrived home.
A third related home invasion occurred around noon on June 7, when two men allegedly held another elderly couple at gunpoint and “violently assaulted them.”
One of the victims managed to call police during the home invasion and officers arrived on the scene while the robbery was in progress.
Officers arrested Armando Manzano, 19, and Daniel Mendez, 19. They were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony robbery charges as investigators continued their investigation. Eduardo Santiago, 23, and a 17-year-old (whose name is withheld because he is a minor) were identified as suspects soon after; Santiago is now incarcerated at the same jail as Manzano and Mendez.
It’s not clear if any of the suspects have lawyers.
Manzano had been arrested on an unrelated charge — evading police — on June 5 and released one day before the most recent home invasion.
"There needs to be more accountability," San Jose Police Sgt. Christian Camarillo said, according to NBC Bay Area, regarding how fast Manzano got out of jail. "The system right now is failing the community members."
“The suspects are believed to be involved in additional burglaries and violent crimes,” police state.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective VanBrande #4542 of the San José Police Robbery Unit via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-277-4166.