A trio of defendants charged this week with tying up an elderly Almaden Valley couple, ransacking their home and stealing their cars are described in police reports as acknowledging their role in the crime and actually being very polite.
"The suspects never assaulted, threatened or harmed" either the 76-year-old woman or the 73-year-old man on Bret Harte Drive on Jan. 20, the female victim told police in reports obtained by NBC Bay Area on Wednesday. In fact, the victims told police that one of the suspects told the husband, "Don't do anything Sir, we won't hurt her."
Arrested in the brazen home invasion, where the couple was certainly shaken up but not physically harmed are: James Benjamine Palmerson of San Jose, Ezra Santana of Morgan Hill, and Miguel Marez, aka "C" or "Caveman," of San Jose.
Don't be fooled though by the suspects' behavior.
The men planned and executed this "cold blooded" crime, Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Allaleh Kainerci said on Wenesday, adding that she considers them very dangerous.
They are scheduled to enter a plea on Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court and are charged with 13 counts of robbery, burglary, kidnapping through fear and detention, false imprisonment, and assault with a deadly weapon. Palmerson, who is also being charged in a domestic violence case, and Marez were arrested on Jan. 24. Santana was arrested on Jan. 25 in Gilroy.
On a sidenote, Palmerson made headlines in 2009 when he and a 13-year-old girlfriend from Saratoga took his grandfather's gray Honda Civic and wallet and drove off for two days. Palmerson was 14 and lived in Los Altos at the time. They were found in Denver. The Mercury News first reported this and confirmed the identity of Palmerson through his grandfather.
San Jose police say the men are also connected to three other armed robberies, including at a taco stand and at a Weinerschnitzel in the few days before the Almaden Valley home invasion. In those cases, the men allegedly stole money and in one of the cases, are alleged to have beaten the employees with sticks.
But it's the details in the home invasion of the elderly couple that paint an odd picture of the alleged robbers.
According to police reports about an inch thick, the victims and the suspects both told police that the couple was bound with duct tape stolen from a Walmart.
The couple was watching TV about 5:30 p.m. and answered the door, thinking it might be their grandson and his girlfriend, reports state.
But the trio of men were there instead.
First, the suspects taped up the husband and wife to a chair, and then, they moved the couple to the bathroom, lining the tub with pillows and a comforter to make them comfortable, reports state.
At one point, the woman either had a real heart attack or faked one, reports state, and one of the suspects splashed water on her face and allowed her husband to give her some aspirin.
Marez told police that he indeed "grabbed the old lady, taped up the old man and went through the house." But he also stated that the crime was random and that they didn't intend to hurt the couple, they "just needed the money," reports state.
After the suspects are accused of stealing flat-screen TVs, jewelry, Euro dollars, gold coins and the couple's two cars, the suspects took off, reports state. They sold some of the jewelry and gold coins.
And then they tried to sell the couple's cars, but no one wanted to buy the 1997 Toyota Camry or the 2007 Toyota Highlander, reports state.
So they pushed the SUV into the Uvas reservoir, and they took off in the other car until they got into a high-speed chase with the California Highway Patrol in Hollister, where the tires blew out and the suspects ran away on foot before they were eventually taken into custody.
The elderly woman was finally able to call police when she freed herself from the duct tape loosely bound around her pants, and she walked over to a neighbor's house for help.
The couple, whom NBC Bay Area is not identifying, has declined requests for comment.