OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - A young couple described their harrowing ordeal of being robbed in a home invasion after moving in to their Piedmont home less than three weeks ago. They say three suspects burst inside their home with their guns drawn.
It's not clear if the suspects followed the couple home or if they were already waiting in the neighborhood. Police say they hope surveillance video will lead to arrests.
April Joseph lived on Lorita Avenue in Piedmont for eight years. She read in detail of her neighbors' frightening experience that took place at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday night.
"Yeah, it's shocking we haven't met them yet, so um...this is an odd way to meet people," Joseph said.
The victims declined to talk on camera, but described the robbery on the Nextdoor app. They said they along with a guest, were ordered into a room, while two of the armed men ransacked the house, stealing cash, wallets, laptops and jewelry.
"We saw all the police outside and my husband heard some car doors slam and the car doors squeal he was putting my son to bed," said Kristen Ogles, a neighborhood resident.
"I'm glad no one was hurt. The three suspects did have three weapons; two handguns and an assault rifle," said Capt. Chris Monahan.
The suspects fled the area in a white or light-colored SUV parked down the street. Lorita Avenue is a dead-end street, which may have aided the crime of opportunity.
Capt. Monahan said the street doesn't have a lot of activity.
"We responded very quickly and our suspects were still gone before we got there," he said.
Shaken neighbors like Kristen Ogles wondered why this couple was targeted.
"It seems strange that 20-somethings would be targeted and followed. It's scary," she said.
"At this early point we don't know that to be a fact. It is possible they could have been in the neighborhood prior to the victims arriving home or they may have been followed home," Monahan said.
Police have gathered surveillance video and are looking for leads. There have been other robberies in Piedmont and they offered advice.
"Everybody should be aware of their surroundings. I'm not saying it may or not changed what happened in this incident, but please be aware when you're getting out of your car, what's around you, what's behind you, who's driving down the street at the same time," Monahan said.
Police added that if someone follows you into a dead end street or a cul de sac, it's best to turn around and wait for that person to leave the area.
KTVU reporter Rob Malcolm contributed to this report