An elderly man was found dead inside his Oakland Hills home early Thursday morning.
Police said there are indications the man's death was suspicious, although they would not go into specifics.
The victim has been identified as Joseph Robertson, 78, who before he retired worked as a graphic artist for the Montclarion newspaper.
Police were called to the home on Trackeray Drive at 7:15 a.m. Thursday after a friend came to check on Robertson and discovered his body.
His nephew Harry Robertson told SF Gate that his uncle had lived at the house for decades. "He was the kindest and gentlest man I've ever known. He was quiet. He was simple. He wouldn't hurt a bird. He couldn't have defended himself against anything," Robertson told the paper.
“He was an old guy kind of defenseless I feel bad," said Bruce Conrad, a neighbor.
"There’s all sorts of nuts running round here kicking in doors. They ring your doorbell you don’t answer they’ll kick in your door. We just got to find some way of stopping them, ” added neighbor Robert Cameto.
Police aren't ruling out any motive in the case, but neighbors said his house was being worked on by various handymen.
Sources tell NBC Bay Area that someone living with Robertson was kicked out last year, but police didn't say if that person was a suspect.