ALAMEDA (KPIX) — Alameda police are alerting residents to several recent, brazen home break-ins. They said that, in four cases which happened in the past week, the families came face-to-face with the intruders.
In a Tuesday break-in on Crolls Garden Court, the home’s resident said the burglar made himself a sandwich, smoked a joint, and showered for about 30 minutes while the resident was sleeping in his bedroom. Jason Turner, the victim’s roommate, came home from work and heard the shower running.
“The whole time I’m thinking my roommate’s in the shower and then 20 minutes go by, 30 minutes go by,” said Turner.
After an hour in the bathroom, Turner got worried and knocked on the door. When the person refused to come out, Turner decided to go in.
“I open the door and instantly he just jumps back right into the shower, naked in there. He was naked and I asked him, ‘yo, who [are] you? Who let you in the house?” Turner said.
Turner woke up his roommate and they called the police.
“I went into my room and grabbed a little bat. And I got him locked in the bathroom,” Turner added.
Police arrested Denis Cruz, a 23-year-old homeless man. He’s now locked up in Santa Rita jail facing trespassing and burglary charges.
Police said on Saturday, a man walked into a house on Lafayette Street through an unlocked door. Homeowner Deirdre Freeman was painting an art piece when the intruder walked in on her.
“I hopped up and said ‘hey how’s it going?’ because I just felt like I needed to be friendly and not react with a scream or not react in any kind of alarmed way or he could get violent,” said Freeman.
Freeman said the man made himself at home and sat on her sofa. She engaged in a conversation with him for about four minutes. She said her intention was to de-escalate the situation.
“He was making sexual commentary. And … the things he was saying were not appropriate and were alarming especially because my daughter was asleep in her bed,” Freeman said. She said her husband and son were at a baseball game at the time.
After he refused to leave, Freeman ran outside and screamed for help. She said eight neighbors came to her rescue. One neighbor chased the intruder but he got away.
“I was [scared] out of mind. I was shaking at the same time,” said Freeman.
Freeman described the suspect as an Asian man with a darker skin tone in his late 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a crescent-shape tattoo under his right eye.
Not far away on Grove Street, a burglar went into Bridgette Snyder’s home Monday afternoon and took cash from her wallet. She and her husband came face to face with the burglar. She said the man ran out of the house.
“I think it’s scary and we need to be on alert at all times. We’re not that safe here anymore,” said Synder.
Alameda police said in the four cases this past week the intruders came in through unlocked doors. They’re reminding people to lock their windows and doors.
“Alameda is a relatively safe city and sometimes people forget that crimes do happen everywhere — especially property crimes,” said Lt. Hoshmand Durani.
Lt. Durani said the cases are not connected and have different suspect descriptions.
So far, they’ve only arrested one person in those cases. They’re asking anyone with information to contact them.