It happened on Muttman Lane in Fremont. The 10-year-old, who says the three men broke into the home with a crowbar, says that only minutes before, he was upstairs playing video games. Neptune and his 16-year-old sister were home alone when three men broke into their house. "My sister heard them and then because they kept ringing our doorbell and knocking," he recalled.
Police say this is a common tactic used by thieves. They knock and ring to see if anyone will answer. If no one comes to the door, they assume the house is empty and that's when they make their move. "She looked and somebody had a crowbar," Neptune said.
Police say the men used the crowbar to break a lock and get into the house but once inside, they knew almost immediately that someone else was there. So, they went on a hunt to find them. "They were going through into the back, so we just walked into the closet and hid," Neptune said. Not only did they hide, but they also acted quickly, locking the closet from the inside and calling 9-1-1.
"I only heard like, 'Hey come out or else we're coming in," Neptune said. He and his sister stayed on the phone with the 9-1-1 operator. Help arrived in less than two minutes. "We were able to get there in time, scare the bad guys off, and take them into custody," Fremont police officer Bill Veteran says.
"This has been happening randomly and it's always around 3:00," neighbor Kathy Arao told ABC7 News. Investigators say there has been an uptick in the number of robberies and suspicious activity in their city over the last few years. Thieves are seeing homes in quiet communities as crimes of opportunity, a fear that stays on the mind of one mom who lives just one block away. "If they would have come to our house, rang the door, and he didn't answer the door, what would've happened? He would've been home too," Arao said.
Police say the men who were arrested were in possession of items that had been reported stolen from a neighboring community. All three have been charged with home invasion robbery, possession of stolen property, and conspiracy.