Monte Sereno Victim Former Owner of Mountain Winery: Report | NBC Bay Area

Monte Sereno Victim Former Owner of Mountain Winery: Report

This is the first homicide in Monte Sereno since 1972

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    Family members tell George Kiriyama that the man who was killed during a home invasion robbery in the Los Gatos hills was the former owner of the Mountain Winery. (Published Friday, Nov. 30, 2012)

    Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police spent the day investigating the city's first homicide since 1972.

    The Monte Sereno crime happened in a typically quiet and affluent part of southern Silicon Valley. A husband is dead and a wife was taken to the hospital after being beaten intruders who broke into their home early Friday and ransacked it. 

    Sgt. Kerry Harris said police received a 911 call about 1:30 a.m. from inside the 7,000 square foot mansion on the 1800 block of Withey Road.

    Police said the woman told them she wasn't able to call 911 until after the intruders left.

    They found her husband's lifeless body inside the home. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital where she reportedly stayed overnight Friday.

    By late Friday, police had still not released the identity of the victim, but the man's niece told NBC Bay Area that deceased is her uncle, Ravi Kumra. She said Kumra was a multi-millionaire and used to own the Mountain Winery in Saratoga. The Mercury News said Kumra also owned Western Cellular Management, which has the Withey Road address and an annual revenue as $2.5 million.

    The home is part of a very large complex and sits behind an iron fence - a home that would be difficult to break into.

    "Whether their intention was to go in there and do harm or good ole' robbery. The fact is these are very dangerous individuals or a very dangerous individual. And they need to be brought to justice," Sgt. Kerry Harris said.

    Police said late Friday there was at least one suspect involved and possibly three or four.  They told NBC Bay Area that whoever broke into the home was there a minimum of 30 minutes.

    When police arrived about 1:40 a.m., Harris said, they found a man dead inside the home and the woman was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after getting beaten by the intruders. 

    One neighbor, Steve Montara, told NBC Bay Area that he has lived in the area for a long time and the family involved is the only one he doesn't know.

    Police would not say whether the crime was random or if the couple was targeted. That has neighbors worried.

    "Obviously, we are devastated by the news," Mayor Susan Gardner told NBC Bay Area. "But I have every confidence that police will solve the crime. Our hearts and thoughts are with those affected by this."

    Kumra bought the Mountain Winery for $6 million in 1995. He reportedly had a rocky relationship with winery workers, neighbors and local police during his tenure.

    While Monte Sereno hasn't had a murder in decades, the last time the city was in the news was the high profile death of artist Thomas Kincade, who overdosed on Valium and alcohol last April inside his Monte Sereno home. 

     Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Sgt. Mike D'Antonio of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department at 408-827-3219 during regular business hours. Contact police communications at 408-354-6843 during non-business hours.

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