A landlord and four other people have been arrested after they tried to evict a family from a rent-controlled Mountain View apartment by turning off the power and trying to break open the door, police said.
Police responding to a burglary report on Monday (Aug. 26) night found the five in the front yard.
The landlord, Reenu Saini, 50, of Sunnyvale, had leased a unit in her Rock Street building to a married couple with two children but “had become frustrated when the family was late paying the rent,” said a statement from police.
Saini allegedly contacted friends and the group went to the apartment on Monday night to stage a home invasion.
When the family inside refused to leave, the group shut off the power and tried to break the door open, police said.
One man then tried to use a knife to force open the door, nearly injuring someone inside who was trying to hold the door shut, police said.
“This was a deliberate attempt using scare tactics to evict a family from a home,” said police Lt. Armando Espitia. “There are civil procedures and remedies that landlords and tenants can pursue with regard to late rent payments, but unfortunately these individuals took extremely dangerous and unlawful steps that resulted in their arrest.”
Saini was arrested for attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, conspiracy to commit a crime, and unlawfully shutting off power to a home.
Steven Carling, 53, of San Jose, was arrested for attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Police arrested three other people — Lori Walston, 49, Brian Ross, 49, and Debra McNeil, 52, all of San Jose. They were arrested for attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling and conspiracy to commit a crime.
— From staff and wire reports