SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose police officers are feeling frustrated. Too often, violent criminals are being released from the Santa Clara County Jail, freeing them up to commit even more crimes, police said.
San Jose Police Department Sgt. Christian Camarillo told reporters on Thursday that the jail’s “revolving door” and bail system is “failing” to keep neighborhoods safe from repeat offenders.
“We are really starting to become frustrated. These suspects need to be held accountable for these serious crimes they are committing. They need to remain in custody. We want our community members to be safe in their own homes,” Camarillo said.
SJPD held a press conference Thursday to announce that a group of young men carried out at least three terrifying and disturbing home invasions. During one of the home invasions on Summerdale Drive, the group threatened to kill a baby, held the baby’s father at gunpoint, and forced the father to drive to a bank to withdraw cash.
The alleged home invaders were identified as 19-year-old Armando Manzano, 19-year-old Daniel Mendez, 23-year-old Eduardo Santiago, and a 17-year-old boy — all San Jose residents.
Manzano was arrested by San Jose police for an unrelated crime just two days before one of the home invasions.
Manzano was chased by police on June 5, arrested, and booked into jail. He was released from jail on June 6. And on June 7, Manzano broke into a house on Bolero Drive in south San Jose, police said. Manzano and Mendez tied up an elderly couple who lived in the house at gunpoint and violently assaulted the husband and wife, according to SJPD.
While the assailants were still ransacking the house, one of the victims was able to escape and call 911. Officers quickly responded to the home and nabbed two Manzano and Mendez as they attempted to flee, according to SJPD.
Camarillo noted that the same problem — releasing inmates early with little or no bail — led to a second violent crime in San Jose. A group of four masked teenaged boys carried out an armed carjacking 1 a.m. Sunday on South 7th Street, police said.
The boys, all between ages 14-17, were still in the stolen car when patrol officers spotted them a few hours later. Police chased the car, but the pursuit was terminated because the car’s reckless maneuvers on the road endangered the public. The driver eventually lost control of the car and crashed on Coleman Avenue near Highway 87.
Detectives were so familiar with the boys that they recognized them at the Coleman Avenue crash scene.
“Robbery detectives recognized three of the four suspects from prior armed robberies and carjackings that had taken place in San Jose,” officer Steve Aponte wrote.
The boys had been previously arrested in March. One teen had an ankle monitor, and another was in possession of a ghost gun. The boys were re-booked into juvenile hall Sunday.
The serial home invasion suspects, Manzano, Mendez, and Santiago, were locked in the Santa Clara County Jail as of late Thursday afternoon, according to inmate records.
Camarillo said the SJPD is working closely together with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to make sure that — this time — the home invasion suspects remain behind bars without bail.