STOCKTON -- A family of 10 was held at gunpoint in their Stockton home over the weekend, on the same street as a home invasion last week where neighbors were also held at gunpoint.
Stockton police report three men armed with handguns forced the family inside their home for the robbery. The family ranged in age from 11 to 70.
"We were so scared, my son was so scared," said Neeru, one of the family members held at gunpoint. She told CBS13 she lives in the home with her children, husband, and extended family members.
Neeru said she was outside their family home where they've lived for 12 years on Warm Springs Circle on Saturday night talking to a neighbor. Other members of her family were out in the neighborhood on a walk, just after 9 p.m.
She said she noticed a group of males that appeared to be teenagers or young adults appear in her yard. She thought they might've been friends of her sons until one of them pulled out a gun and quietly ordered her inside the home.
Once inside, she said three men in masks, gloves, dark hooded sweatshirts, and armed with handguns, ordered the family to get down on the floor of the living room. With guns pointed at them, one of the men held a gun to Neeru's son's head and demanded she give them all of the money in the house, "or else," she said.
"Gun on his head, he told me, 'Give me money, whatever you have, otherwise, I am going to kill him.' I said 'OK,' whatever I had." said Neeru.
She said, through tears, she took one of the suspects upstairs and emptied all of the cash from her purse. They then demanded other money and the family emptied their wallets and purses with all they had.
Before they left, the robbers threatened the family against calling the police and smashed four cell phones and an iPad to keep the victims from contacting authorities.
"'Next time, we're not gonna spare you,'" Neeru said one of the suspects told them.
Neeru and her family believe they were targeted due to a home invasion at their neighbor's house from a week before.
During that incident, two women and a 3-year-old girl were held at gunpoint. Five masked men entered the home through a partially cracked garage door, according to one of the victims, and held the pair at gunpoint, even going as far as holding a gun to the child's head until her mother searched for all cash in the house.
Ultimately, the suspects left empty-handed, Neeru explained, because Neeru's husband and brother-in-law intervened and scared them off. She believes they returned to her family's home in retaliation.
Stockton police have not linked the two incidents but say both are under investigation.
Stockton Police Safety Tips
Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you - especially if you are alone or it is dark.
Whenever possible, travel with a friend.
Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.
Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys where someone could hide.
Walk confidently at a steady pace.
Make eye contact with people when walking.
Do not respond to conversation from strangers on the street - continue walking.
When driving, travel on busy, well-lighted streets.
Keep your car in good running order.
Drive with all car doors locked.
If you are followed, drive to the nearest police or fire station for assistance.
If you see suspicious activity, call the non-emergency number at 209-937-8377 or in case of an emergency, dial 9-1-1.