3 arrested in home invasion, violent armed robberies

SAN JOSE, Calif.

James Palmerson and Ezra Santana, both 18, and Miguel Marez, 19, were arrested following investigations into an armed robbery on Jan. 19, two armed robberies on Jan. 20 and the home invasion on Jan. 21, police said.

The arrests took place over two days, with Palmerson and Marez arrested in San Jose on Thursday and Santana captured in Gilroy on Friday, police said.

The suspects' alleged crime spree in San Jose began on Jan. 19 at about 11:42 p.m. in the 4100 block of Monterey Road in South San Jose when a person reported being jumped by three men -- one showing a knife -- who demanded money.

One suspect stole an item from the victim and the other two stabbed the victim multiple times before all three hurried away. The victim was later treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

Just over a half-hour later at 12:05 a.m., about five miles to the north, the second armed robbery took place near the intersection of Story Road and Knox Avenue, beside Prusch Park in East San Jose.

One suspect displayed a handgun while another suspect hit a food vendor with a blunt object.

The suspects fled after grabbing an undisclosed amount of cash away from the vendor, who was later treated for non-life-threatening wounds at a hospital.

The third robbery happened at about 1:37 a.m., around 90 minutes later and about a mile north of the second one, in the 2800 block of Story Road in East San Jose.

The trio of suspects went into a business that was about to close, brandished a handgun and a blunt object and commanded employees to turn over cash.

One of the suspects struck an employee with the blunt object as a second suspect pointed the handgun at the other workers. The suspects left with some cash.

The hurt employee was treated for minor injuries and released from a medical facility.

The next day, on Jan. 21 at 5:30 p.m., a 76-year-old woman and 73-year-old man answered a knock at their front door in the 6700 block of Bret Harte Drive in South San Jose near Almaden Expressway.

The suspects then forced their way inside the home, at least one while armed with a knife. The suspects bound the couple with duct tape, physically moved them to another room and proceeded to ransack the residence, stealing electronics, credit cards and cash.

They forced the two elderly victims to turn over the keys to the couple's cars, a green 2007 Toyota Highlander and a tan 1997 Toyota Camry, and then drove away.

A day later, the California Highway Patrol got into a car chase with the Camry that reached 100 mph on state Highway 152. CHP officers later found the Camry abandoned near U.S. Highway 101 and Highway 152.

That day, Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputies located the Highlander submerged in water in the Uvas Reservoir west of Morgan Hill based on a suspicious activity report from a citizen.

Palmerson, Santana and Marez are being held in the Santa Clara County Jail on numerous felony counts of armed robbery, false imprisonment, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary.

San Jose police were not available to provide further details or whether the men have made a court appearance following their arrest.

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