It’s not the kind of record you want your city to have: San Jose hit a near 20-year high for both homicides and property crimes last year. In fact, the number of property crimes in 2012 jumped 30 percent from just the year before.
Statistics aside. These crimes affect real people. Real people like Paul Majors who lives in the hills above East San Jose.
“These three dirt-bags were in my house, going through my stuff. We bought new sheets the next day. The guys had tossed the bed, all my clothes were on the floor. It was violating. Disgusting,” Majors said.
He said his house on Woodley Drive was broken into nearly a month ago on a Tuesday morning, among four houses burglarized in just the last half-year. He said his wife, Bobbi, opened the unlocked front door with their two kids behind her, ages 10 and 11.
“They shouldn’t be thinking about people breaking into their house,” Majors said, shaking his head. “They should be thinking about having fun and being kids.”
Husband and wife estimate the burglars made off with $20,000 of valuables, mostly in heirloom jewelry, including the necklaces Bobbi wore on the wedding day. “They stole a lot more- peace of mind, security, and faith in the city I was born in,” Paul Majors added.
The San Jose native admitted it’s not just the criminals he’s upset with – it’s also the police department. He said one officer responded a few hours after he called and reported the break-in, doing a good job and even lifting fingerprints from a mirror. The next break, Majors said, was the luckiest one. But it would also be the one that broke his faith in SJPD.
The tracking app Majors said he installed on his iPad, which was one of the many electronics stolen, sent a North San Jose address to his phone the day after the burglary. He decided this would catch the crooks that violated his house and his family’s sense of security.
“I got really excited and called police. They kind of went, ‘Eh, not much we can do about that.’ I said well I have the address, so they instructed me to go down to the address and call them,” said Majors said. “So I went down and called them, and waited around. They actually called and said please don’t confront the suspects , obviously. I waited around about hour or so and I left.”
Bobbi Majors said that’s when she got angry, called police and started screaming for them to call him home. “If they’re not going to do it, it’s not okay, but please don’t send private citizens to do your job and put them in danger.”
San Jose police have consistently stressed that their hands are tied dealing with high volumes in calls while responding with limited resources, and must prioritize more “serious” and violent crimes first. Sergeant Jason Dwyer told NBC Bay Area that investigating property crimes is very time-consuming.
He said while officers are able to write search warrants, getting and executing them is “very labor and manpower intensive. Residents with evidence are encouraged to provide it to the PD so it can be followed up on, time and staffing permitting.”
For the Majors, who said they’re considering a move to places like Morgan Hill and Sunnyvale where they heard police investigate burglaries, the response from San Jose police isn’t enough. Paul Majors said he feels defeated.
“These guys are eventually going to break into a house where there might be someone and turn into a violent crime. Why not stop it before it happens?”
UPDATE (3/11/13): Late Monday afternoon, Albert Morales, a public information officer with the San Jose Police Department, told NBC Bay Area that it is not SJPD policy to send citizens to any sort of scene, but to call police and leave the matter up to officers to investigate. Morales added officers respond depending on the other active calls and scenes. He said in the Majors’ case, there was a homicide investigation going on at the same time, tying up resources and preventing the department from sending an officer to the address.