Police in San Jose have announced the arrests of several suspects linked to a series of burglaries targeting smoke shops in the South Bay area. The burglaries, which occurred between March and August, involved stolen cars being used to smash through locked storefronts. In late July, the police made their first set of arrests, connecting the suspects to at least eight of the 26 burglaries investigated.
On August 30, authorities arrested six minors, including three of the previously arrested suspects, as well as three additional juvenile suspects. They also apprehended a 45-year-old man from San Jose. During the arrests, two firearms and evidence related to the burglaries were seized. The minors were arrested on suspicion of burglary and firearm violations, while the adult suspect was arrested on suspicion of firearm and narcotic violations, as well as child endangerment.
The police did not provide specific details about the connection between the adult suspect and the burglaries, only stating that he was associated with at least one of the juveniles and that his illegal activities were discovered during the course of the burglary investigations.
San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata commended the efforts of the officers and detectives involved in the case, emphasizing their commitment to ensuring justice for the affected businesses. He also expressed the department’s dedication to preventing young individuals from becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
The series of burglaries followed a pattern where the suspects used stolen Kia and Hyundai vehicles to ram into smoke-shop storefronts, steal merchandise, and flee in the same vehicles. Kia and Hyundai had previously addressed the issue of car thefts involving certain models with turn-key ignitions in February.
The police released a YouTube compilation showcasing the alleged thieves forcefully entering various smoke shops to access the merchandise. Authorities believe the suspects may be responsible for additional burglaries outside of San Jose, but no further information has been disclosed.
Anyone with information or surveillance video related to the commercial burglaries is urged to contact Detectives Gach and Bergstrom of the San Jose Police Department Burglary Unit.