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Teen Gang Members Victimize Elderly Woman in Burglary

The boys, age 16, said they did it because old people seem like an easy target, police reported.

Two 16-year-old boys were arrested for allegedly breaking into an elderly woman's house in broad daylight Monday, a crime that seriously traumatized the woman and trashed the interior of her home, Watsonville police reported.

"When asked why they committed the crime they replied that it seemed easy because it was just old people living in the area," police reported in a prepared statement.

The teens tried to break through the front door of a Cloudview Drive house around 12:30 p.m. Monday. They failed, but went around the back of the house. That's when the resident, an 86-year-old woman, ran out the front door to get away, according to police.

A passerby gave her a safe place to be while police responded to the burglary and arrested the teens, police said.

Officers found the house ransacked and a back window broken, police said.

The teenagers were discovered hiding in a neighbor's yard behind the woman's house. They were arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of stolen property, participation in a criminal street gang, theft from the elderly and probation violations. The teens were booked into Juvenile Hall.

The crime traumatized the woman. Later, Watsonville Police Cadets came over to help the woman clean up her home.

Police encouraged residents to build relationships with their neighbors, keep an eye out for suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and report that activity to the police.

Kathy O'Mara June 27, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Disgusting. I hope she buys a shotgun and a big dog.
Tony James June 27, 2012 at 04:38 AM
rob, steal, kill. They prey on the weak. What scum they are and you that have friends in gangs and respect them, you're scum too.
Adrian June 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Dam cocharoches
Cathy P. June 27, 2012 at 03:15 PM
2 full-blown sociopaths (people without a conscience). Just what we need more of in this town. What a horrific story.
David H. Perez June 27, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Let's just hope the bleeding heart ideology that has taken over our juvenile detention system does not lead to the usual speedy release of these punks. Boo hoo, incarceration exposes kids to bad elements and makes them worse. Well what could be worse than these maggots resorting to preying on an elderly person. I say lock'em up and throw away the key, I don't care how young they are!
Lanelle Valenzuela June 27, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Right On David!!
Lanelle Valenzuela June 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM
That poor woman...good thing she was able to get away! No telling what those punks might have done!! These kids need a good hard lesson in life!!
pureza June 27, 2012 at 06:08 PM
This has to be the most frightening experience. I got my apartment broken into and thank God I wasn't home that day. But it does scare me now to know that somebody can and will do that in broad day light. Unfortunately this are kids in our own neighborhoods. As parents we have to do more. If your child has money or things that you don't buy for them, you need to report that suspicious behavior to the authorities because this is what they turn into thiefs, they disrespect everything and everyone, and turn into gangmembers. It honestly starts in our own homes and as parents it is our responsibility to do more. Good thing they cought them now let's hope the system gives them what they deserve, somebody has to teach them a lesson.
Jennifer Squires June 27, 2012 at 06:33 PM
The comments here are right on. This is appalling behavior. The one shining spot in all of this is that another group of Watsonville youth—the police cadets—came over to help the woman get her home back in order. As a community, we need to work on steering more kids into positive programs like the cadets (or sports, or arts) and off the streets.
David H. Perez June 28, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Right on, Jennifer!
Erik Orgell June 28, 2012 at 03:52 PM
The parents of those two boys should be held accountable for their actions as well since they are minors and will likely get a slap on the wrist when they deserve real jail time for what really amounts to micro-terrorism.
Patricia June 29, 2012 at 06:29 PM
In our day we were raised to respect the elder generation. Today you are lucky if you make it to the elder generation with all the little hoodlums out there. As Pureza and Erik mentioned, the parents need to be involved. Where do they think their children are out late at night or not attending school? What do they think when the kids come home with all kinds of goodies and they know they aren't working at a legitimate job? The courts have to get tougher and stop the slap on the wrist because they are 'just kids.' Kids grow up to become adults with habits and needless to say, these are not good habits. Thanks to the Watsonville Police Cadets who give more to this community than the community realizes!
Myrna Sherman June 29, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I live in Bay Village. I have always felt safe. From now on However, any time i see teenagers walking around, i will call the police. Better to check out what's there than not and have another incident. It would be terrible to think i had to have a gun to protect myself.
Myrna Sherman June 29, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Additionally the gang mwmbers that committed the crime should do community work, in the form of cleaning toilets. Let them be in a place where they will feel comfortable. I am tired of people giving juvenile deliquents a pass.
Patty Newton June 30, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Juvenile Hall! They should have been treated like adults, arrested and taken to jail and then be sent to prison.

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