SAN JOSE, Calif. - A series of similar crimes in the South Bay and East Bay has multiple law enforcement agencies searching for the suspects.
One of the more recent incidents did not come to light until the victims reviewed their home surveillance footage.
"I don’t know if you have high resolution (video), but it’s teamwork. That’s it," said Raj Pokalori as he sat with his laptop.
He expressed his shock while watching doorbell camera surveillance footage from September 29. In this video, four alleged thieves posed as shoppers at his wife's home-based Indian apparel store. However, their true intention was to steal merchandise.
"In 15 years, none of these kinds of things have happened," he said.
Pokalori recounted how three women with a baby and a man entered their home, spinning a tale about needing to buy Saris for two upcoming weddings.
Three of the culprits distracted Pokalori's wife as she attended to the would-be customers, while the fourth suspect let in two more people.
"We were not even aware that these people were inside. We only knew the four people. And these two came in, and they cleaned out everything, and then they walked out," said Pokalori.
He estimated that $100,000 in jewelry and family heirlooms were stolen, items that would typically be stored away in a different location but were temporarily left for convenience.
This case bears resemblance to a robbery on Story Road last Saturday.
In that incident, three women sweet-talked their way into an elderly couple's home and allegedly stole a safe containing $10,000.
San Jose police are currently investigating whether these two cases are linked. As this investigation progresses, a similar incident occurred in Hayward, involving a similar pattern and number of suspects.
"Essentially, several females entered a residence and took property from inside the home while one of the residents was home," explained Hayward Police Officer Cassondra Fovel. "They did use more of a distracting method rather than using force to take the property from inside the house."
She mentioned that her detectives are collaborating with the San Jose Police Department to determine if the case from September 9 is connected to the ones in the South Bay.
"Looks like these guys are doing it over, and over, and over again in the last two months," said Pokalori.
He pledged that he and his wife would implement safety protocols to prevent further incidents. Nevertheless, they remain haunted by questions about who was watching and for how long to execute the caper in the first place.
"How can this happen, repeatedly? Looks like I’m not the first and I’m not going to be the last either," he lamented.