SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - A South Bay family discovers a brazen burglar caught on camera rummaging through their house with the residents still at home. It was a frightening ordeal for a San Jose couple. The husband was outside doing yard work. His wife was in the shower. It happened Wednesday morning at a home on East San Fernando Street near the downtown area.
Ed Cruz was outside his home cleaning the peaches from his neighbor’s driveway at 10 a.m. He had no idea a prowler had just entered his home until he found food in the backyard and realized a burglar had been inside.
“I’m scared, very scary,” said Cruz. “I told myself I’m so very lucky.”
Cruz’s son-in-law checked footage from several cameras installed at the home and there the thief was creeping in the living room seen heading into the hallway and believed to have entered back bedrooms.
He comes and goes in and out of house three times a total of eight minutes in the home, stealing a sweater, a lunchbox, hat and jewelry.
“He comes in and is rummaging through the things,” said Errol Ozdalga, victim’s son-in-law. “He ends up stealing the jewelry box and this whole time she's showering.”
Two jewelry boxes within feet from his mother-in-law were snatched.
“It could be as much as $20,000 worth of stuff,” said Ozdalga. “She had just come back from the Philippines. She had stuff out. A lot of it was things she got when she was a kid from her mother so it's sentimental value, things that just can't be replaced.”
They believe the intruder gained access through an open sliding glass door, jumping into people’s backyards.
“These fences are the lowest,” said Ozdalga. “He just hopped these two fences and came in that way.”
The family alerted neighbors on Nextdoor who shared more video of the suspected thief walking down the street minutes prior.
They suspect he’s homeless and said from the video, he appeared intoxicated. The thief described to be roughly 6’ tall, balding and with a beard. He had tattoos on his right forearm and a tattoo of a band on his left forearm.
Neighbors are not surprised and said they’re tightening their vigilance.
“You have to have everything locked down,” said Neighbor Valentine Cortez. “People are so desperate and so bold.”
The family worries he may have been watching the home for some time and are grateful knowing it could have been worse.
“This guy could have had a weapon,” said Ozdalga. “He could have ran into my father-in-law and reacted in any possible way.”
They’re hoping this video proof will lead to an identity. Meantime, the family has now installed more cameras and a new alarm system.