Police looking for 2 men responsible for string of violent Bay Area crimes
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Police need help Wednesday finding two men who are responsible for a string of violent crimes in the Bay Area. Police said the suspects are part of a group from the Los Angeles area who are accused of murder, home invasion robberies and sexual assaults at underground brothels operating in four Bay Area cities.
San Jose Police is the lead agency in this case, where the homicide occurred. Police said what these men did to their victims is shocking. The crimes happened in unsuspecting, upscale neighborhoods.
“I’ve seen anything like it,” said Oscar who lives near Ellery Common in Fremont. “I've never seen police action like this before.”
The homeowner was surprised to see Fremont Police swarm a townhouse on Ellery Common in what neighbors describe as a quiet, gated community. Police said the home was operating as a brothel unbeknownst to neighbors
Back on September 28, police say five men robbed three women at gunpoint and sexually assaulted them.
“That is a shock to me because never in my wildest dreams would I have thought something like that was going on here,” said Oscar.
“What they did to the victims inside the house was unspeakable,” said Det. Michael Gebhardt of Fremont Police. “There's a difference between going in and robbing somebody even if it's at gunpoint and then what they did. What they did was extremely over the line.”
Police said they later learned the suspects were connected to other crimes. Later, that night, the men were linked to a murder in North San Jose, where a 31-year-old man was shot and killed at a high-end apartment complex on Elan Village Lane.
Surveillance cameras also connected them to violent robberies and sexual assaults on Murphy Ranch Road in Milpitas and McLennan Drive in South San Francisco. All four locations believed to be part of a statewide brothel ring.
“Especially in the amount of time it happened it's a 24 hour period where these crimes occurred, it’s really violent and brazen acts,” said Officer Gina Tepoorten of San Jose Police.
Fremont Police said in all, they attacked more than half a dozen young women who were victims of human trafficking.
“That’s the thing with these brothels,” said Det. Gebhardt. “They can really pop up anywhere and it's on people who constantly see foot traffic coming and going to call.”
Police identified and arrested three men this week, 28-year-old An Yan, 27-year-old Lin Tao and 36-year-old Panpan Haung at their homes in Southern California.
They’re still looking for two other men described to be Chinese, one his late 20's and another in his late 30's. They’re hoping to get as many eyes on them as possible in hopes to take the violent criminals off the streets.
“It just pays to get to know who's living near you,” said Oscar. “I just feel bad for the people who they were trafficking.”
The victims in this case are recovering. Police would not say how the suspects and homicide victim knew each other. The three men who were arrested have been booked into the Santa Clara County jail without bail.