San Jose police seek armed robbery suspects

A quiet San Jose neighborhood turned into a crime scene after two brazen armed robbers held up two 7-Eleven stores early Friday morning.
April 25, 2014 9:54:19 PM PDT
San Jose police need the public's help in catching two brazen armed robbers who burst into two 7-Eleven stores early Friday morning. They terrorized the people inside and prompted a shelter-in-place for the neighborhood around Marten Avenue and Mt. Pleasant.

The wakeup call this morning in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in East San Jose was unpleasant. Police officers were wearing ballistic helmets and carrying rifles as they went door to door searching for two armed robbers.

"This is about as dangerous as it gets. You're looking for an unknown suspect in an unknown location, searching people's backyards," said San Jose Police Lt. Jason Herr.

Officers were searching for two men armed with handguns seen in a surveillance video from the 7-Eleven on South White Road. At about 4:30 in the morning, they hopped the counter, the clerk put up his hands and they stole cash from the register, lottery tickets and some merchandise. The worker was not hurt. The 7-Eleven is a popular stop in the morning for nearby residents who say they weren't surprised it was hit by robbers.

"Since we go there every morning, the guy is pretty cool and we talk to him as kind of a friend. He tells us that twice a month he usually gets robbed," said resident Anthony Nunez.

Police say about 20 minutes later those same two men went about a mile and a half to the 7-Eleven on Marten Avenue and robbed that store. That's when they were spotted by officers and chased by foot into the neighborhood.

Residents were told to lock their doors and stay put. Police say they found evidence the robbers went through the neighborhood, but they were able to break the perimeter and escape. The search ended around 9 a.m. with no arrests.

But why steal lottery tickets? They're likely to get caught if they redeem winning numbers.

"I think they must be out of their mind because all these lottery tickets are tracked and traced, and $10 or not, you have to redeem it at a convenience store or a 7-Eleven, and going in there is just a trap," resident John Chu said.