Police / Fire

Police say be wary of strangers knocking on your door

Suspects allegedly knocked on the front door of a South Street house then came back and broke a window to gain access

The arrest of two suspects for allegedly breaking into a house when a resident was home is prompting Hollister Police to remind residents to be wary of strangers knocking on their door.

On Jan. 18, officers arrested two male suspects after they broke a window on the 500 block of South Street and entered the house. The resident was in the house during the 9:30 a.m. incident and alerted police.

According to a press release from HPD, the reporting party had retreated to a bedroom to hide and called for help when the suspects entered the residence.

When officers arrived, they chased two suspects who were running from the house and trying to jump over the back fence. However, their escape was thwarted by the resident's family member,  who had arrived at the back fence as the suspects attempted to jump over. The family member pushed the two suspects back over the fence and into the hands of the pursuing officers.

The two suspects were found with burglary tools and were wearing gloves, according to police. A witness positively identified the suspects as the young men who had knocked on the front door earlier. They returned and broke out the window prior to entering and ransacking the home.

One of the suspects was identified as Christian Leonor-Zambrano, 19, and the other suspect was identified as a 16-year-old juvenile. Leonor-Zambrano was treated for a laceration to his hand prior to being booked at the county jail for burglary and possession of burglary tools.The juvenile was later transported to Juvenile Hall and booked for the same charges.

"The Hollister Police Department would like to warn residents to be wary of strangers knocking on your front door," the HPD said in its release. "It is a very common tactic for burglars to knock on the front door to ascertain if someone is home. When they don’t receive an answer at the door, they sometimes move to the back of the home to break in."

Police say all door-to-door salespeople should have a City of Hollister peddler’s license visible on their person.

"Please report to police anyone knocking at your door and then asking for someone who doesn’t live there or if they are walking around your home and looking around where they shouldn’t be," the release noted. "The Hollister Police Department would also like to thank the quick thinking of the resident who had the presence of mind to retreat to a secure area of the home and call for help. The police department encourages residents not to confront the suspects and just call 911."

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call The Hollister Police Department at 831-636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

BenitoLink Staff