One of the two teenagers shot and killed early Sunday during an attempted burglary at a north Sacramento home had allegedly broken into the same residence two weeks earlier, Sacramento police said Monday.
“The print came back today from one of the suspects that was shot, and it matched the prints taken from the incident that occurred on April 20,” said Officer Michele Gigante, spokeswoman for the Sacramento Police Department.
The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office on Monday identified the burglary suspects as Steven Crider, 16, and Michael J. Sambrano, 14, both of Sacramento. Police did not say which suspect’s prints matched those found earlier at the house.
Early Sunday around 12:18 a.m., Sacramento police responded to a call of a burglary in progress at a home in the 1000 block of Arcade Boulevard.
“We get there within two minutes and we found the two suspects inside the house,” said Gigante.
Both of the teens had been shot, and Sacramento fire personnel pronounced them dead at the scene. The Coroner’s Office listed 12:30 a.m. Sunday as the time of death for Crider and Sambrano.
Calls to Crider’s mother, who lives in North Highlands, were not returned Monday.
The two occupants of the home – a woman in her 60s and a man in his 70s – were not hurt.
Police did not release details on how Crider and Sambrano got inside the home. Nor did police say who exactly had shot the two suspects, though they portrayed it as a self-defense incident and said the shooting appeared to be justified based on a preliminary investigation.
“People do have the right to defend themselves if they are in fear for their safety,” Gigante said.
Police said that the home had been broken into twice last month.
Gigante said that the first burglary occurred on April 20. At 2:48 a.m., the homeowner had called police to report that someone was breaking into her home. When officers arrived, they found that someone had cut a window screen, opened a window and managed to unlock the back door, police said.
“They later found that the victim’s purse, her keys and some jewelry were stolen,” said Gigante.
The second incident occurred at 1:46 a.m. April 29, when the homeowner called police to report a break-in.
“We arrived on the scene and found that the suspects had removed a screen to a window and broken the window where the window latched,” said Gigante. “The suspects were scared away when the victim screamed or when the police arrived.”
Nothing was taken in that incident.
Neighbors said footage from a residential surveillance camera had shown two teenagers casing the house recently. Neighbors also said the teenagers had apparently threatened the female resident verbally, prompting her to ask a male relative to stay with her at night.
“She had a family member stay with her a little bit,” said Judi Simmen, 64, who lives down the street. “She was nervous.”
The homeowner declined to be interviewed Monday.
Monday, neighbors said they felt uneasy in the aftermath of the shooting. Some said it heightened concern in the neighborhood about crime, which hadn’t been a problem for a while.
“I think we’re all very cautious, but it’s a wake-up call,” said Simmen. “It made us change a couple of our security systems in the house to be more responsive. I’m not going to let it scare me – we’re going to get involved with the neighborhood watch.”
Call The Bee’s Tillie Fong, (916) 321-1006.