​For release on December 22, 2015   CONTACT:
Sandip Patel
Deputy District Attorney
Gangs Unit
(408) 808-3754 GRAND JURY INDICTS 29 SUSPECTS FOR 3-YEAR STRING OF HOME BURGLARIES   Close to 30 members of a San Jose gang have been charged with a three-year string of home burglaries. The Nortenos would sometimes follow people home from jewelry stores, case their homes, and then break-in when no one was there.
All of the 29 defendants – who were indicted by a criminal grand jury last week - have been charged with felonies. They face lengthy prison terms, if convicted. Arraignments of those in-custody are scheduled for 9:00 a.m. today in Department 24 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
“This was a prolific and well-organized group of criminals who were shattering front doors, windows and our community’s sense of security,” said prosecutor Sandip Patel. “We would like to thank the San Jose Police Department for piecing together this complex case and bringing this gang to justice.”
The charged crimes began in 2012, when a number of separate Norteno street gangs decided to band together and begin burglarizing homes for money, jewelry, and weapons throughout San Jose, Union City, and Hillsborough. Each crew of several members would burglarize multiple homes in a single day. In three cases, residents were home at the time and the burglars fled. 
In some cases, the gang’s crews targeted Asian-American and Middle-Eastern families because the gang members felt they were more likely to keep jewels and money in their homes. The gangs would kick down the front door or smash sliding glass doors in the backyard. They would often recruit minors to actually enter the house, knowing that the juveniles would face less serious criminal penalties if caught.
Then they would keep the weapons and cash and sell the rest of their stolen loot to at least one local second-hand store.
Investigators suspect the group in hundreds of house burglaries. Monday’s string of arrests were the result of what the police called “Operation Grinch.”
Said San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel: "This department will do everything in its power to make sure residents are safe in their own homes. I'm proud that at the end of this challenging investigation, we are holding a brazen and dangerous criminal gang accountable."
If anyone has any information about the crimes, please contact the San Jose Police Department at (408) 277-8900.   # # #

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