In an attempted scheme to oust renters from a Rock Street home, a landlord staged a home-invasion that resulted in the arrest of five people.
On Monday, Aug. 26, around 8:15 p.m., officers responded to a call of an in-progress residential burglary on the 2000 block of Rock Street. Officers quickly arrived on scene, and upon their arrival, spotted five people in the front yard of the residence. All five people were immediately detained.
The victims, a husband, wife, and two children, had escaped the home during the incident and fled through a back door. The family was located safely on Rengstorff Avenue.
As officers began to investigate the incident, they learned that the landlord of the home, 50-year-old Sunnyvale resident Reenu Saini, had leased the home to the victims but had become frustrated when the family was late paying the rent. Saini, in an effort to remove the family from the residence, allegedly contacted friends earlier in the day on Aug. 26 to head to Rock Street that evening to help physically remove the victims.
Shortly after arriving at the home that evening, the family inside refused to leave, so someone in the group shut the power off to the residence. Then, one of the people involved in the scheme, 53-year-old San Jose resident Steven Carling, tried to use a knife to break open the door, nearly coming into contact with one of the people inside, who was attempting to hold the door closed.
“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.”
Reenu Saini was arrested for attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, conspiracy to commit a crime, and unlawfully shutting off power to a home. Steven Carling was arrested for attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Three other individuals who were also a part of the scheme, 49-year-old San Jose resident Lori Walston, 49-year-old San Jose resident Brian Ross and 52-year-old San Jose resident Debra McNeil, were arrested for attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Media inquiries can be sent to PIO Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.