In San Jose, CA, a teenager has been charged with orchestrating a burglary with three known gang members. The twist, however, is that the 17-year-old planned for the others to rob his own home.
Simerjeet Singh knew the three gang members from school and is accused of “masterminding” a home invasion. Singh helped Moses Perez Herrera, 17, Alvaro Valdivia, 16, and Moses Noel Torres, 22, get into his home to steal from his father, Bikram Jeet Singh, and other family members.
But the family home contained several high-definition surveillance cameras, which caught the burglary on video.
Three family members were also home at the time of the robbery. Simerjeet Singh’s grandmother, mother and 14-month-old half-sister were in the house when the burglars got in.
One of the women heard noises downstairs when the gang members broke in. Thinking that her husband had come home early, she went to investigate, only to see the three young men brandishing knives and ransacking the home.
She and her two relatives went to hide in an upstairs bedroom and fought to keep a door with a broken lock closed. Yet one of the robbers smashed through the door, causing the women to flee and lock themselves in a bathroom down the hall.
The gang members only left when they heard one of the women calling the police.
The gang members had entered the Singh home through an unlocked sliding door around 11 a.m. on May 8. Such an entry isn’t uncommon for home invasions, as an estimated 30% of all burglaries occur due to unlocked residential windows and doors.
Singh and his three accomplices are being charged with first-degree robbery and burglary, along with gang enhancements, which are felony offenses. All four young men are currently in police custody, and the three teenagers have been charged as adults.
Bail for Torres is set at $250,000; the amount is $210,000 for Herrera and Valdavia and $200,000 for Singh. The maximum penalty for Torres and Singh, if convicted, is 20 years and eight months and 22 years for the other two accomplices.
The elder Singh had no comments when asked about his son’s alleged crimes. So far, his son’s motivations are not clear to investigators or family members.