Mountain View landlord accused of staging home invasion to force out family

Bay Area

MOUNTAIN VIEW (KRON) – Five people were arrested after a landlord allegedly staged a home invasion in hopes to evict the family living there, according to the Mountain View Police Department.

Police received a call on Monday around 8:15 p.m. about a residential burglary in-progress on the 2000 block of Rock Street. 

Officers arrived to find five people, including the landlord, in the front yard and detained them.

Those renting the property were able to escape safely through the back door during the incident.

Investigators learned that the landlord, 50-year-old Reenu Saini from Sunnyvale, was leasing the home to the family. However, the family was not paying their rent on time, which angered Saini. 

Police say Saini contacted some friends earlier that day to help her physically remove the tenants. 

“The landlord, in an attempt to try to evict the people that lived inside the home, called a friend who subsequently got a hold, I guess, of a couple others,” said Katie Nelson with the Mountain View Police Department.”And they all went to the home that evening to try to forcibly and physically remove the family from the home.”

The husband, wife, and two kids living in the house refused to leave, leading one of the suspects to shut off the power. 

Another suspect, 53-year-old Steven Carling from San Jose, allegedly tried to break open the door with a knife while one of the victims inside held the door closed. 

Saini and Carling were both arrested, along with 49-year-old Lori Watson from San Jose, 49-year-old Brian Ross from San Jose, and 52-year-old Debra McNeil from San Jose. 

The suspects involved are faced with multiple charges, including attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling and conspiracy to commit a crime. 

“This was a deliberate attempt using scare tactics to evict a family from a home,” said Lt. Armando Espitia. “There are civil procedures and remedies that landlords and tenants can pursue with regard to late rent payments, but unfortunately these individuals took extremely dangerous and unlawful steps that resulted in their arrest.”

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