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Violent Home Invader Arrested in Gilroy

Ezra Santana and two others committed a series of violent crimes in San Jose in January.

Contributed by the San Jose Police Department:

The San Jose Police Department has arrested three suspects in the Jan. 21 home invasion robbery that occurred in the 6700 block of Bret Harte Drive in South San Jose.  

At approximately 5:30 p.m., the three suspects knocked on the front door of the victims' residence. When the occupants opened the door, the suspects forced their way inside. At least one of the suspects was armed with a knife. Once inside, the suspects bound both victims with duct tape and secluded them into a room of the residence. The suspects then ransacked the residence, taking electronics, credit cards and cash.

The suspects demanded keys for both of the victims' vehicles, a green 2007 Toyota Highlander and a tan 1997 Toyota Camry, and then fled the scene in the victims' vehicles. Within 24 hours, both vehicles were recovered.

The California Highway Patrol was involved in a high-speed pursuit with the Camry on Highway 152 which exceeded 100 miles per hour. The CHP later located the abandoned Camry near Highway 101 and Highway 152. Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office divers located the Highlander submerged in the Uvas Reservoir after a witness had called in to report suspicious activity.  

During the investigation, San Jose Police Robbery Unit detectives identified James Palmerson, Miguel Marez and Ezra Santana as suspects in the home invasion robbery. There is no known link between the suspects and the victims of the home invasion.

On Jan. 24 at approximately 11:15 a.m., SJPD patrol officers located and arrested Palmerson during a call for service. Later that day at approximately 3p.m., the SJPD Covert Response Unit (CRU) arrested Suspect Marez in San Jose. CRU then located and arrested Suspect Santana on Jan. 25 at approximately 4:00 p.m. in Gilroy.

Robbery Detectives continued their investigation and determined that all three suspects were responsible for three previous armed robberies in a crime spree that spanned from Jan. 19-21. All of the robberies occurred in an Jose.

The first robbery occurred on Jan. 19 at 11:42 P.M. in the 4100 block of Monterey Highway. The suspects approached the victim, brandished a knife and demanded money. One suspect took property from the victim while another suspect stabbed the victim multiple times. The victim was treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The suspects fled the scene.

The following night, the second robbery occurred at approximately 12:05 A.M. in the area of Story Road and Knox Avenue. One of the suspects brandished a handgun and a second suspect physically assaulted a food vendor with a blunt object. The suspects stole an undisclosed quantity of cash from the victim and fled the scene. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The third robbery leading up to the home invasion occurred on Jan. 20 at 1:37 A.M. in the 2800 block of Story Road. In this case, the suspects entered a business that was closing. The suspects brandished a handgun and a blunt object and demanded money. One of the suspects physically assaulted the victim with the blunt object while the second suspect brandished a handgun at the remaining employees. The suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed quantity of cash. The victim received minor injuries and was treated and released at a local hospital.  

All three suspects remain in custody on numerous counts including armed robbery, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping and burglary. Robbery detectives have recovered all of the personal property taken in the home invasion.  

"This case exemplifies the talent and professionalism of our officers," said Acting Chief Larry Esquivel. "Our Robbery Unit's hard work not only solved a violent home invasion, but they solved three other violent robberies as well. I'm proud of the hard work of our detectives and patrol personnel. Working together, they took three very violent criminals off the streets of San Jose." 

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