MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX 5) — A landlord is accused of masterminding a home invasion with four of her friends at her own rental property to try and evict a family of tenants, Mountain View police said Tuesday.
“You take them to the courts, you know, that’s ridiculous,” said Chris Banta, who lives across the street. Banta watched as officers surrounded the building at Rengstorff Ave. and Rock St. on Monday at 8:15 p.m., where they found all five suspects in the front yard.
Police said the landlord, Reenu Saini, was frustrated with her tenants because they were late on their rent. She’s accused of calling four friends, Steven Carling, Debra McNeil, Lori Walston and Brian Ross, to help her physically remove the family of four– a couple and two children.
“Pounding on the door, shouting, they were yelling,” said Dave Murphy, who saw two men trying to kick open the front door before calling 911. “I yelled and said, ‘Hey, knock it off!'”
“They were kicking on a metallic gate to get to the front door,” Banta said.
The family refused to leave when the group of suspects arrived, which caused one of the suspects to allegedly turn off the electricity to the home. Carling is then accused of using a knife to try and pry open the security metallic front door as well as the wooden door behind it.
One of the victims tried to keep the door shut before the entire family ran out of the back of the home.
“This was a deliberate attempt using scare tactics to evict a family from a home,” police Lt. Armando Espitia said. “There are civil procedures and remedies that landlords and tenants can pursue with regard to late rent payments, but unfortunately these individuals took extremely dangerous and unlawful steps that resulted in their arrest.”
Saini and the others were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Saini and Carling refused a request from KPIX for a jail interview.