SAN JOSE -- Police said a brazen home-invasion robbery of a couple in their 70s on Monday started with a knock at the door around 6:50 p.m., followed by two or three men in their 20s bursting into the Almaden Valley residence waving knives and tying up their victims before ransacking the house and fleeing in their vehicles.
Tuesday evening, the stolen vehicles had not been located and police were still seeking suspects in what they called a very bold and violent crime.
"This is the polar opposite of a burglary," said San Jose police spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer. "Burglaries are done by someone cowardly, and if you show up and interrupt them, they will probably run out the back door. Compared to someone who commits a takeover, they want you to be in fear for your safety, they want confrontation."
Dwyer said that while two or three people entered the house, more accomplices may be involved.
The robbery occurred at a home in the 6700 block of Bret Harte Drive, near Leland High School, in a well-to-do neighborhood. The victims were a 76-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man.
Dwyer said they did not know if the home was specifically selected by the robbers, but added that "generally something like this, the victim was targeted for some reason. It doesn't have to be they knew each other, but the victim may have been seen by the suspect or watched, and believed to be someone they could take advantage of."
After taking several items, the suspects left in the victims' two cars -- a green 2007 Toyota Highlander with a license plate of 5XIU520. The second vehicle is a tan 1997 Toyota Camry with a license plate of 3UNG960.
A family member of the couple answered the phone at the home Tuesday and did not want to discuss the incident.
Newly elected San Jose City Councilman Johnny Khamis said Tuesday morning that he spoke with acting police Chief Larry Esquivel, who said finding the suspects is a top priority.
Khamis said police indicated to him that the case is associated with a carjacking that happened earlier Monday, though police did not confirm that.
"I have the utmost confidence in our police, and I think these criminals will be brought to justice," Khamis said. "We need to keep vigilant and bring these criminals to justice."
An item on the police blotter indicates an elderly man was carjacked at about 2:30 p.m. Monday in front of his house, about 2¿1/2 miles away from where the home-invasion robbery happened. According to the police blotter, two suspects attacked the man as he was sitting in his vehicle in front of his house near Redmond Avenue and Wallace Drive. The suspects physically assaulted the man and took off in his vehicle. The man was taken to a hospital and treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.
His abandoned vehicle was found a short time later. The unidentified suspects were not located and remain at large.
Dwyer said Tuesday evening that they don't know if the crimes are connected at this point.
He added that while the home invasion happened in one of the city's wealthier enclaves, it's a crime that would be shocking in any community.
"Place your parents in their position, place your grandparents there," he said. "They had knives waved in their faces, were tied up and had their own cars stolen. That might drive the point home a little bit more."
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the San Jose police robbery division at 408-277-4166 or the anonymous Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers tip line at 408-947-7867 and may be eligible for a reward.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869.