Alameda residents come face-to-face with burglary suspects

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Several times over the past week in Alameda intruders have come face to face with residents in their own homes. 

With the recent hot weather, many of the victims kept their doors open and that's how the suspects got in, making themselves feel right at home. 

One burglary suspect made a sandwich, smoked some marijuana, and even took a shower in a stranger's home.

Deirdre Freeman was painting at her home on Lafayette Street when she was surprised by a stranger. 

"When he came in and I noticed him, he was right at the edge of this rug," she recalled. 

Not wanting to provoke him, Freeman said she began talking to him, even as he sat down on her couch. Her 12-year-old daughter was sleeping in the next room. 

"He then started asking questions about my art, and that's when he got very perverse," she said. 

With no signs of him leaving, Freeman says she ran out the front door which she had left open because her husband and son were about to come home. 

Freeman explained, "And I dashed here around the couch and dashed outside down the steps and I yelled, 'help, help help.'" 

The intruder escaped, but a neighbor's surveillance camera caught images of the suspect. He has distinctive tattoos near his eyes that read, "Lost," "Love," and "Lone Wolf." 

And in a separate case, the suspect slipped through an open side door at an apartment complex near Washington Park and snuck past a sleeping resident. He made himself a sandwich and even smoked a joint.

"He had also taken some food items and smoked some marijuana," said Alameda Police Lieutenant Hoshmand Durani. 

But then the resident's roommate Jason Turner came home at about 2 a.m. and found everything in disarray. He heard the shower running and assumed it was his roommate. 

"So I knock on the bathroom door, I hear a voice that's not his. So I was like, 'excuse me.' So I knocked again and he opened it and jumped back in the shower," Turner said. 

Turner says he backhanded the suspect and held him until police arrived. 

Officers arrested the man who's been identified as 23-year-old Denis Cruz. He's been charged with burglary. 

And in a third incident, Bridgette Synder was outside gardening when someone slipped past her open gate, snuck in a side door and stole $100 from her purse. 

"He had already gotten into my purse, which was sitting on the washing machine and he took $100 [in cash] but fortunately he didn't take any credit cards," she said.  

Lieutenant Durani said, "The common thread on this one is either the doors were left unlocked and residents were home," Durani said. 

Alameda police say in this warm weather, people need to stay alert. 

"When it gets hot like this it's understandable, but you also have to be aware. These things can happen.