A wig-wearing woman who police said used a hide-a-key to enter a Crescent Park home and then threatened the homeowner with a ceremonial dagger was arrested as she attempted to flee the scene Tuesday morning.
The woman, whom police identified as 55-year-old Jennifer Louise Gause of East Palo Alto, reportedly walked into the home's bedroom and woke up the homeowner, a woman in her 80s. Upon seeing the stranger in her bedroom, the homeowner ran downstairs and hid.
Minutes later, the homeowner heard the intruder exit the house through the back door and proceeded to lock the door, locking the stranger out. Yet Gause, who was wearing a black wig, remained outside the house and threatened the homeowner with a knife, a ceremonial dagger that was taken from the victim's home on the 900 block of Hamilton Avenue.
Police said Gause demanded through the door's inset window that the victim hand over her car keys. Gause also displayed the homeowner's house key and threatened to harm the woman if she didn't comply.
Gause then entered the house once again, but by that time the homeowner had a chance to move to another part of the home and called police. As she heard Gause get into the home through the back door, she ran outside and met police officers who had just arrived at the scene. Gause then reportedly tried to flee the residence but was quickly arrested without incident. The victim was not injured in the incident.
Police said the knife that the intruder used in the attempted burglary was a 14-inch ceremonial dagger, one of several items that was reportedly taken from the home and found in Gause's possession. Police later determined that the homeowner and Gause share a mutual acquaintance who may have told Gause about the location of the spare house key that she used to enter the residence.
Gause was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for one felony count of burglary, one felony county of robbery and one misdemeanor count of brandishing a weapon.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.