FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) - One woman is in custody, and a home is now red tagged, following a vehicle theft and crash in Fremont Monday morning.
Neighbors said they thought a bomb exploded when they heard the Windstar minivan slamming into and partially through a house on Barnard Drive in Fremont. The homeowner, who asked we not show her face, was in the backyard, but, headed to the garage to leave for work.
“I was screaming. I was panicked. It’s not like anything you’ve experienced. Ever,” said the resident.
The person behind the wheel of the minivan, which is owned by a window cleaning company, had plowed through the home’s garage and into the living room. Neighbors reached the scene before first responders, and checked to see if anyone was hurt.
“Wasn’t shocked. Wasn’t surprised. Just, oh gracious. Because you never, what was it, 8:30 this morning? People are still home,” said a neighbor who would only identify himself as Kris.
Investigators say the van was stolen around 9:40 Monday morning. The thief sped away while the registered owner was on a job.
“The female inside of the vehicle in the driver’s seat, she was taken into custody there along with the assistance of Fremont fire,” said Fremont police lieutenant Matt Snelson.
It’s unclear how the alleged thief was able to start the minivan or from where she took it. But she apparently drove east on Harrisburg Avenue and when she got here to Barnard Drive, she didn’t go left or right. Instead she veered straight into the house.
“This will be fixed. I’m glad she’s alive. And my son wasn’t at home,” said Najib Barati, who lives in the house with his wife of 35 years.
The city has temporarily red tagged the home until it’s determined if the dwelling can be made structurally sound. The residents say they’ll stay with family and friends.
“I could have been in my garage if it was off by another four or five minutes. Because I was ready to leave for work,” said the female resident.