MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — A landlord and four other people were arrested after they allegedly tried to evict a family from a rent-controlled Silicon Valley home by turning off the power and trying to break open the door, authorities said.
Police responding to a burglary report Monday night found the five in the front yard.
The landlord, Reenu Saini, 50, of Sunnyvale, had leased a unit in her Rock Street building to a married couple with two children but “had become frustrated when the family was late paying the rent,” according to a police department statement.
Saini allegedly contacted friends and the group went to the home Monday night.
When the family inside refused to leave, the group shut off the power and tried to break the door open, police said.
One man then tried to use a knife in an effort to force the door, nearly injuring someone inside who was trying to hold the door closed, police said.
“This was a deliberate attempt using scare tactics to evict a family from a home,” police Lt. Armando Espitia said. “There are civil procedures and remedies that landlords and tenants can pursue with regard to late rent payments, but unfortunately these individuals took extremely dangerous and unlawful steps that resulted in their arrest.”
Saini and the others were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery, burglary of an inhabited dwelling and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Saini also was arrested on suspicion of unlawfully shutting off power to a home. One man also was held on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the knife, police said.
It wasn’t known whether they had attorneys.