Bureau of Investigations - Detective Diaries

Investigation Leads to Enhanced Charges After Discovery of Additional Sexual Assault Victims

Posted on: Oct 25, 2016
By: Sgt. Sanchez #3264


On July 19, 2016, patrol officers responded to a reported sexual assault that had occurred in San Jose. Several days prior, a female resident of San Jose had been victimized multiple times in one evening by a known male as she was unconscious. The suspect, a Morgan Hill resident, was identified as a known Sex Offender. The case was forwarded to the Sexual Assault Unit and ultimately assigned for investigation by the Megan's Law/290 Team.

The investigation was spearheaded by Detective C. Pham #3917 and Detective G. Buhay #3646 and resulted in multiple felony counts being filed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney for Sexual Assault. An arrest warrant and search warrant were obtained.

Damou Joseph Evans
46 years old

On August 25, 2016 the suspect was located and arrested by the San Jose Police Covert Response Unit (CRU), and a subsequent search warrant was served at the suspect's residence by the Megan's Law/290 Team.

A press release was authorized due to the suspect's history and length of time he had been in the South Bay area, most notably in the “Nightclub” profession where he had access to potential victims in a similar setting.

From August 25, 2016 to September 27, 2016 an additional six victims contacted investigators and relayed similar experiences that had been unreported. Lead investigator, Detective C. Pham, worked closely with the Deputy District Attorney assigned to the case and secured a commitment to amend the original complaint to include new victims and a “multi-victim” enhancement allegation potentially exposing the suspect to a “life” sentence.

It is my belief that the tireless efforts of both Detective Pham and Detective Buhay allowed every person victimized by the suspect a chance to seek justice and begin to heal from their wounds. Both officers should be commended for their dedication to duty and tireless advocacy for those whose voices were waiting to be heard.


Deterring Gang Violence During Cinco de Mayo

Posted on: May 26, 2016
By: Lt. Fong #2710


It has been a known fact that numerous community members, gang members, and gang associates from San Jose and other Cities in the Bay Area come to Downtown San Jose and the Foothill Division to celebrate the Cinco de Mayo event. Unfortunately, in the past few years, there has been a spike of violence during the Cinco de Mayo weekend.

One of the missions of the Gang Investigations Unit (GIU) is to investigate and deter gang violence. After working their regular 40-hour work week as detectives, GIU continued their work shift on an overtime basis to address potential gang issues. During the evening and late night hours of Thursday 05-05-2016, Friday 05-06-2016, and Saturday 05-07-2016, the detectives with the support of several Adult and Juvenile Gang Unit Probation Officers patrolled the streets. They went to gang hot spots, known gang territories in downtown and Foothill Division, and specific gang probationer's residences.

At the end of the three-day operation, the GIU Detectives arrested a total of six persons (adult & juveniles) and took two guns off the street. The crimes ranged from resisting arrest, violation of probation, to possession of firearms. Three arrestees resisted their arrest. Using proper de-escalation techniques (i.e., using voice control and asking family members to calm a resistive juvenile) and appropriate use of force (hands), GIU members defused three complex and difficult encounters where the subjects were uncooperative.

In sum, this was a very successful operation for the Gang Investigations Unit. As the commander of this Unit, I was fortunate to patrol with this team during the Cinco de Mayo weekend. I was able to witness the officers' bravery and commitment to deter gang violence; I am very proud of the men and women of the Gang Investigations Unit.


"Sawed-off Shotgun" Case "Sawed-off Rifle" Case



Bà Swiper - Case 16-003-0400

Posted on: January 13, 2016
By: Lt. Abruzzini #2787


Since late November 2015, a series of 20 purse-snatch robberies have occurred in San Jose. The suspect would target older Vietnamese female shoppers as they were returning to their vehicles. The suspect would usually approach the victim from behind and rip the purse from them leaving the victim emotionally as well as physically shaken. In one case, the suspect dragged and punched a 67 year old victim who did not relinquish her purse fast enough. Other times, the suspect would grab the purse as the victim placed it in her vehicle. The suspect(s) would flee in a waiting vehicle. Because these attacks were so quick, as well as violent, the victims had a difficult time getting a good look at the suspect. Some victims, believing nothing could be done, left the area without calling the police.

However, two senior robbery detectives were assigned the cases. They canvassed the area looking for video or witnesses. They examined all of the cases looking for commonality or a method of operation (MO). All the while, the suspect became more and more brazen committing a robbery every 3 days.

Detectives were able to compile a list of robbery locations and determine some "favorite" spots and times targeted by the robber. Because of his pension for victimizing elderly females, Detectives gave him the moniker "Bà Swiper." Bà is Vietnamese for grandmother. Detectives routinely assign monikers to serial robbers as an investigative tool. The moniker helps them keep track of the criminals as well as an easy and memorable way to get the info out to uniformed officers as well as the citizens.

Detectives were also able to get a vehicle description and partial license plate of the vehicle used in the latest robberies. With this information, Detectives had Officers search for the vehicle as well as conduct additional patrols in Asian market parking lots.

When nothing materialized Robbery Detectives conducted surveillance at several parking lots of several Asian markets to include the parking lot of Senter Foods located at 3975 Senter Rd. Two previous purse-snatch robberies recently occurred in the parking lot.

On Saturday (January 9, 2016) at approximately 1000 hours, plainclothes Robbery Detectives spotted a vehicle matching the suspects enter the Senter Foods parking lot. The vehicle drove slowly around the lot numerous times. The driver (later identified as Thao Minh LUONG, 50 years old) paid special attention to various females as they left the store and entered their vehicles. Eventually LUONG stopped his car next to a lone 67 year old Cambodian woman who was putting groceries into her vehicle. The suspect exited his vehicle and took the victim's purse as she placed it into her vehicle. LUONG jumped into his car and sped away.
LUONG fled to a nearby parking lot and was in process of rooting through the stolen property when confronted by Robbery Detectives. A subsequent search of the vehicle and a motel room rented by the suspect revealed property believed to be stolen in other robberies.

Detectives are continuing to put the case together to identify other robberies committed by LUONG as well as identifying any accomplices. Robbery Sergeant Larry Day stated that he is relieved the suspect has been captured and the elderly, who have already given so much, do not need to be fearful while going about their everyday lives.


Surveillance Video


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