SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A spike in crime has neighbors on edge in an upscale area of San Jose. Since last Thursday, Willow Glen has been seeing a wave of auto thefts, carjackings, home invasions and burglaries. Police are trying to figure out if the various crimes are related.
The crooks that have been targeting Willow Glen over the weekend are nothing, if not bold. Brent Pearse was cycling by his neighbors’ house near Schallenberger Elementary School just before 7 a.m. Monday when he saw a young man running toward the house, putting on a ski mask.
“I saw someone get out of a car, put on a mask, put on their hoodie and start running at my neighbor’s house and that’s when I acted and said ‘Hey!’ – asked him to stop, and he turned around and got back in his vehicle,” said Pearse.
A neighbor’s security camera captured a glimpse of the alleged getaway car, a blue hatchback.
The homeowner was just getting up with his family. “I’ve got three little kids,” said the homeowner, who declined to give his name. “The fact that someone can just come up here with a ski mask on in broad daylight is really scary.”
Two days earlier, right around the corner on Janis way, an elderly woman was home when robbers kicked in her front door and stole her purse and laptop.
Then yesterday, Vickie Maggetti was in her backyard eating dinner when thieves stole her white Lexus right out of the driveway. “My husband asked me where my car was, and I was, like, ‘What do you mean, where’s my car?’” said Maggetti. “I couldn’t believe that someone could come up to the driveway, that ballsy.”
That was in broad daylight at 5 pm. Maggetti said police told her there were possibly two crimes committed with a white Lexus.
Using stolen cars in crimes seems to be a common theme here. Saturday at 4 a.m, a young woman crashed a stolen Lexus into a parked SUV.
When the owner of the truck tried to keep her from leaving the scene, he says four men assaulted him, and then fled.
Social media such as NextDoor has been blowing up with recent anecdotes of break-ins and thefts.
“My sympathies are with all of the victims of crimes that have occurred over the last few days,” said City Councilmember Dev Davis, who added she got an update from San Jose police commanders themselves.
“I talked with the captain, because I like to go with verified sources, and she said everything looked pretty normal over the weekend when I talked to her last night,” said Davis. “She did not indicate that anything looked out of the ordinary.”
Davis said she is planning a community-wide meeting within the next couple of weeks. The San Jose Police Department said it would look at the reported incidents in the area to see if they are part of a larger trend.