SJ couple tied up while home ransacked

SAN JOSE, Calif.

"Nothing like this ever happens here in our little alcove of Almaden, you know," Kathleen Mangan said.

Mangan should know. She's lived in the upper middle class neighborhood of Shadowbrook in the heart of the Almaden Valley for 45 years.

Mangan and other neighbors are shocked and it seems everyone is talking about the scary home invasion.

"In this case, it was a knock on the door; they opened the door slightly and suspects basically barged in," San Jose Police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

Police say two or three men forced their way into the home at gunpoint after 6 p.m. and tied their victims up while they ransacked the house, taking jewelry, cash and electronics.

"Then the coup de grace was that they stole both of the cars belonging to our victims that were parked in the garage," Dwyer said.

The victims are a retired couple in their 70s. Their daughter says they had some minor cuts and bruises but that they were not hurt.

Harry Blankenheim told investigators he was sitting in his open garage Monday afternoon when he saw a suspicious car carrying strangers who looked like they were casing out homes.

"I saw this big black sedan slowly driving down the street with these three big guys in it and a few minutes later, they came driving by this way," Blankenheim said.

Longtime residents say they've seen a recent increase in crime in a historically safe neighborhood where people watch out for each other.

"Just a few blocks from here, maybe a half mile there was another carjacking where they took somebody's car and left somebody there," Mangan said.

Doris Michael has lived in the area for 35 years. She doesn't feel as safe anymore. Michael believes it is because of all the cutbacks in the police force.

There used to be patrols occasionally; I never see that anymore because there simply is insufficient police here now," she said.

The cars are described as a green 2007 Toyota Highlander with a license plate number of 5XIU520 and a 1997 Toyota Camry with a license plate number of 3UNG960.

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