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.