Car burglary suspect breaks into San Jose home during foot pursuit, leaves badly burned in house fire

Amanda del Castillo Image
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
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A car burglary suspect was fled police, broke into San Jose home and was badly burned in two-alarm house fire, officials say. The suspect was arrested and taken to a hospital.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A family in San Jose is now without a home, and a suspect is badly burned.

According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, around 4 p.m. on Monday, members of the Santa Clara County Regional Auto Theft Taskforce (RATTF) team spotted a stolen vehicle near Lewis Road and Senter Road in San Jose.

The RATTF team attempted to stop the suspect, identified as 29-year-old Raul Anthony Rodriguez, as he left the vehicle and took off on foot.

Taskforce members quickly set a perimeter around the area. After 20 minutes, taskforce members learned Rodriguez broke into a nearby home on Santee River Court and refused to come out.

San Jose Police Department (SJPD) then arrived to help with the barricaded suspect.

The Sheriff's Office reported the homeowner was able to run out of the house without injury.

Around 5:45 p.m., the house caught fire with the suspect inside.

A two-alarm fire was burning a single-family home but law enforcement officers kept firefighters from the home until officers felt the scene was secure, fire Capt. Brad Cloutier said.

The San Jose Fire Department responded to put out the fire and located Rodriguez inside.

SJFD Captain Brad Cloutier told ABC7 News, "We started our fire attack. We were able to find one person inside the home, bring him out and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment."

Captain Cloutier said the suspect suffered pretty significant injuries, and was taken to a local trauma center for treatment.

About the home involved, Cloutier explained, "It's pretty significant structural damage, as well as everything in the interior. So, we're going to have a long night ahead of us as far as overhaul and making sure everything is out."

The home is not habitable, he said. Sheriff's officials did immediately respond to say what law enforcement officers were doing at the home before firefighters started their work.

When asked about the threat to surrounding structures, he said, "Initially, we were concerned about the homes around the fire home, but we were able to knock the fire down in the home and keep it contained to that home. No damage to the surrounding structures."

The Sheriff's Office shared an older mugshot of Rodriguez, and said he will be charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, resisting/delaying/obstructing an officer and residential burglary.

Taskforce members later learned Rodriguez suspect had a $25,000 felony warrant for burglary.

The Sheriff's Office said Rodriguez will be booked into the Main Jail when he's released from the hospital.

A note from the Sheriff's Office: This is an active and ongoing investigation. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office at 408-808-4500. Alternatively, you can contact the Sheriff's Office Investigative Services anonymous tip line at 408-808-4431.

Bay City News contributed to this report