AUDIO: Man Attempts to Break Into Home in Martinez – Conversation Between Suspect & Victim Caught on Tape

September 16, 2013 16:00 pm · 69 comments


A man tried to break into an occupied home near Alhambra High School in Martinez at about 1am this morning, and the conversation between the suspect and the homeowner was caught on tape (click on the image above to listen).

In the audio clip, you can hear the suspect lightly knock on the door, and then the homeowner, who was awake, asks “is someone there?”, and the suspect replies with a “yes”, and then asks to use the homeowner’s phone.

The homeowner immediately called 911 and tells the dispatcher the suspect tried to come in his front & side door. He also told dispatch he had to make his way through two locked gates to get to the side-yard. A woman in the house was heard saying the man also tried to break-in through the window.

Martinez Police came to the residence, but the suspect had fled the area by the time they arrived at the home. has received reports from all over Martinez, Concord, Clayton, Walnut Creek & Pleasant Hill from people saying they heard light knocking on their doors very late at night throughout the past few years. In most cases, the homeowners made noise and scared the suspect(s) away, and also in most cases, the homeowners hear the suspect(s) attempt to open the door.

It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen. Before you go to bed at night, make sure your doors & windows are locked, and don’t be afraid to call the police if you hear something suspicious.

NOTE: The audio clip (click on the image above to listen) has been edited to protect the identity of the victims, and it has also been cleaned up to take away some of the inaudible conversation between the police & the victims. The original clip was about 10-minutes long.

ANNONeeemoose September 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

This is not the same as the guys that run away though when they hear people! It was answering them and still asking them to open the door. I hope someone recognizes his voice!

anonmtz September 16, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Someone will probably recognize “Efren’s” voice and give the authorities a hint where to find him. Nice job Mr. Mayor.

the other jj September 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM


GoAheadMakeMyDay September 16, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Now I lay me down to sleep
Beside my bed, a Glock I keep
Should I rise to find you inside
The corner’s van will be your next ride

The lock on my house is for your protection, not mine.

John September 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

The guys accent sounds Filipino.

Cap'n Nick September 16, 2013 at 4:54 PM

I didn’t know that Mossberg had a model with a built in voice recorder.

Enfield303 September 16, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Sounds like a Cheech and Chong bit.

Who’s there.?
Ephron who?
Ephron,I need to borrow your phone.
Ephrons not here.

rainparader September 16, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Video surveillance is pretty inexpensive now. Everyone should have it if they can get it!

neighbor September 16, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Can you tell us if this was on the north or south side of Alhambra High? Since the police reference the hills, it certainly isn’t the east side. I know folks who live on the south side of the school. My guess is this probably occurred on the north side, closer to the county hospital. Would be nice to know what’s going on.

Celeste September 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM

It’s “coroner.” But I get the point.

Han Solo September 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Efferin a that sucks.

Sheila September 16, 2013 at 5:03 PM

How scary! Too bad he fled.

Scary! September 16, 2013 at 5:07 PM

I am wondering where the recording was taken from. You can hear the suspect’s voice very clearly. (Sounds closer than the homeowner’s voice) And how were they able to get the knock recorded? Maybe it was the second time he knocked? I’m not doubting the story but a little info on how the recording was made might answer some questions.

Nutcreek Frontier September 16, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Kudos to the homeowner, he is a very cool customer, great instincts. Hope this tape helps find “Efron”

Steph September 16, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Pretty scary. Seems like the Martinez PD got to the house pretty quickly though.

mellymom September 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Yes please explain how this was recorded. The suspect is louder than the homeowner.

who can u trust anymore? September 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Yes me also whats this guy look like ? Someone came to my place about 2:30 a.m.

The Victims September 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

I called 911 and 3 police cars were here within 3 minutes, and then another. Police searched our property but they were gone. Very scary. Also I was told to stay inside by the dispatcher, which I did. After police were gone an hour later I cleared the property to make sure, and found no one.
We believe it was from when we had workers here on the property a week before. I can’t go into that too much, but obviously we thought about what we could do to lesson the chance of this happening again, and give my wife peace of mind. So we have made some changes. Even though it was not from FB, ( we believe) , it might not be a good idea to say when you are going on vacation, show photo’s of your kids, possessions, even possibly 4 square where you are and basically broadcasting that you are not home. There are reasonable precautions, then there is fear and just being paranoid. I am not a paranoid type of person usually, but when these things happen it is natural to get a little more worried than normal or probably justified. Odds are you will be safe, but who knows. Motion detectors, video, knowing your neighbors, a dog as mentioned, and if you have a weapon, keep it locked up so you can get it quick but no one else is. Guns are a favorite for thieves. And other precautions are a good idea, some obvious, some not so obvious imo.
ince this happened, I have googled a lot about break in’s and home invasions, and also home security. Some of it was eye opening. Some we have adopted. I am not going to bar our windows, or get a razor wire fence etc. lol, but trust me, this got our attention. Even listening to that recording again creeps me out.
But thank you MPD. Thank you so much. You are awesome…

chivilles September 16, 2013 at 5:48 PM

This is a pretty scary situation, it was really lucky to have a tape to record that conversation to give to the police. Way to go!

dolby September 16, 2013 at 5:53 PM

That was a very good recording.

The Victims September 16, 2013 at 6:00 PM

@ Mellymom. It was a fluke recording. When we went to bed we heard coyotes near by howling. I have a Tascam recorder and by chance I put it in the window to record the coyotes howling. What a coincidence.

The Victims September 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM

btw web cams are so easy. We have three I set up now, they record in low light, also audio, hook up to your computer easy and record all the video right onto your ex hard drive. There is settings you can adjust on the good ones, for different conditions. Wide view, low light etc. also low memory even that it will take a snap shot every 3 seconds and take up less space on your hard drive. Then ones I have now can record a week and still have room, on the setting I have them on.

NRA #1 fan September 16, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Come to Walnut Creek and knock on my door……I got an itchy finger and I’m dying to find out if my “hair pin trigger” thingy is really hair pin

Zorphious September 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM

I have a 7.62×39 for his ass. Let him even try it at my house. He will be carried out in a body bag. I have a family to protect. I could always send out my trained family protection Belgian Malinois to eat his butt as well. Knowing my dog, I’d opt for the bullet.

The Victims September 16, 2013 at 6:23 PM

@neighbor. I can’t say exactly where we live, but this is a valley, and happened on the East side of that valley. Not the West side.
@Scary. I have deer cams. In fact filmed a red tail fox about a year ago. We have wild life, and I film them, also other critters. In this case, I set up my Tascam recorder that night around 9 pm in the window very near our side door , to hopefully record coyotes howling believe it or not. When they howl sometimes there are a group, and it is really cool sounding. This thing can record for 24 hours strait with high quality sound. …. I have 3 very high quality motion activated deer cams set up now for a while in strategic locations. Mostly to give my wife peace of mind to sleep, also alarms..

Roid Rage September 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Wow, gave me chills listing to the recording, I had a similar thing happen to me except the intruder made it into my house he and I were 5 feet apart looking each other in the eye, I think my physical stature scared him off, I tell yeah, I felt violated and my home didn’t feel the same anymore, now I lock all the doors and windows at night, do a perimeter check at night but what gave me the most peace of mind was going to Canyon Sports in Martinez, lets just say they know me very well.

SF City Girl September 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

So, no snap shot of the Perp? Great audio btw!

TinFoiler September 16, 2013 at 6:38 PM

There’s some powerful infrared spotlights on ebay – they’ll light up your yard for the security cams as if it’s daytime.

anonymous September 16, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Another bit of good advice when you have anyone working on your house is to ask two questions:
(1) Do you perform background checks on your workers?
(2) How often do you perform background checks on your workers?

If the answers aren’t satisfactory, move on to someone else.

Mr. Pink September 16, 2013 at 7:02 PM

@The Victim. Sounds like you handled it very well. Good for you. Hope they catch the SOB, and quickly.

Anon September 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM

I hope he comes to my house, he will be greeted not by me or my husband but my 120lb German Shepherd. Also my lab will “pack” up with her. Then my Chihuahua will be happy to bite his ankles..

Pete Bennett - A multi-time victim September 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM – Your police departments cannot handle these events – I’ve been stalked for nearly ten years possibly my business has been targeted since the 80s when Officer Eric Bergen murdered Cynthia Kempf and now that Tanabe has been convicted I can talk more about what I know about CNET and how they are likely liinked to Seeno and a 25 million Ponzi scheme that just magically ripped off millions from a creditor list of 100 where many are elderly. That’s a Chris Butler story.

summer September 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM

He can come to my door-I will answer….

NRA September 16, 2013 at 8:25 PM

The Dems are trying to take away our rights to protect our families.

We must not let that happen.

Vote out All Democrats in 2014

Trucker Bug September 16, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Cap’n Nick September 16, 2013 at 4:54 PM
I didn’t know that Mossberg had a model with a built in voice recorder.

Best comment yet. LOL.

Just another Concord Resident September 16, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Guns, training and the will to use them in defense of our homes and family are the best protection we can get. Practice at the range every week, those skills go away fast. Police Academy helps, but nothing beats continued training with the best in the world.
Congratulations on keeping your family safe, you are very cool under stress.

shenanigans September 16, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Claycord needs a “like” button because there are some really great comments on this story!!

@Pete Bennett September 16, 2013 at 10:57 PM

Wow…never knew about all that. What can you add?

Here’s an old article on that story:

Sabrie September 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM

This is very scary-we live in a very nice quiet middle class neighborhood. We have cameras on our houses just for this type of thing. We can see if people are walking by or coming into our yards or if strange vans or cars are driving by. Like today, this strange white van was driving slowly down our street and stopping intermittently at different houses and would just sit their for a few minutes and drive some more, it looked like it was casing the houses. This caused an alarm for us. I am very blessed to be in this neighborhood. We watch each others backs.

Sabrie September 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM

We live in lafayette which is not really a part of claycord-but these problems exist everywhere.

Garnet September 17, 2013 at 2:32 AM

I think I need to move in with GoAheadMakeMyDay!!!!

@Sabrie September 17, 2013 at 6:39 AM

You should have called the police when thst happened. In fact, you can still call them and let them know about the suspicious vsn because I believe I remeber reading about a white van associated with burglaries around here recently. They may be interested in viewing your videos to see the van. It doesn’t hurt to ask as they appreciate the publics help.

anonymous September 17, 2013 at 6:43 AM

Wow, and the Feds want to take our guns purchased legally from us…..

Ephron September 17, 2013 at 7:08 AM

I just wanted to use their phone 🙁 helllla rude

The Victims September 17, 2013 at 7:09 AM

@ Sabrie. About 12 years ago we had visitors and their big dog got lose so we were looking for it. I decided to drive my car around our neighborhood looking for it. I had to drive slow, looking into yards, even stopping sometimes and getting out to look and call out his name. And he had a really weird name.. However, I had police on me in about 10 minutes and pulled me over. I think that is good, but still, sometimes there is a reason people drive around slow like that, and even seem very suspicious, and in my case, trying to find a dog. I would have been suspicious too, So I understood. Not even sure if they believed me, but better safe than sorry… I even asked the police if they seen a big white dog in the area, and they didn’t answer, they were not buying it, but it was the honest truth. How were they to know?

The Victims September 17, 2013 at 7:11 AM

@ Otblues. All I will say about that is they were damn lucky they did not make it in our home. I know our home and they would not have stood a chance.

kfk September 17, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Well, Efren…*racks shot gun*

too bad I keep one in the tube…

anon September 17, 2013 at 7:46 AM

I know this has been said before – They knock lightly to see if you have a dog.
I actually bark loudly back at the door.

Steven September 17, 2013 at 8:14 AM

It is Martinez folks…… is this really that surprising?

The Victims September 17, 2013 at 8:17 AM

LMAO @ Ephron!! But did you have to jump our fence & try to pry open our window first and get a boost and climb ( somehow) up our 10 foot house wall to our front door?? And you left marks on our wall and smashed a planter box as well. Geeze.. . : ( You did however say please at our side door, that was a nice touch, esp before coming in and , ummm, “borrowing our phone” btw, who the hell has a home phone now days anyway?? lol ( I may have said this before, but we have not only finger prints, but a whole hand print on a white wall ( they were not genius’s) , and shoe prints, and size…. One good thing, I think they will let you use the phone at county jail. lolol ( I know your just kidding though, that was funny @Ephron…. )

Palermo September 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

@7, I thought the very same thing. Dave’s not home!

Sabrie September 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM

We did- we have a neighborhood watch program.

c September 17, 2013 at 9:43 AM


Sabrie September 17, 2013 at 9:48 AM

@The Victims
We take no chances.

The Victims September 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM

@Steven, our prime suspect/suspects are not from Martinez. So far the leads are pointing to Antioch…

The Victims September 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Also @ Steven. In Over all in crime ratings, Martinez has a low crime rate, lower than Concord . So I guess I have to say, what, check your facts???
This link shows a map of crime rate of CC county.

The Mamba September 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Well done by the homeowners, I get spooked out just by the idea of someone trying to knock at 1 a.m. If I ever happen to be awake that late and someone knocks, I’m going hunting.

The Mamba September 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM

To The Victims, my parents had the same thing happen. They hired a crew to do some light work around their house and then were broken into about a month later.

Angelica September 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM

This is bizarre! The victims have a sense of humor.

Martinez does have a very low crime rate. With the exception of affluent suburbs, it’s the lowest crime rate around. Not a lot of diversity.

I’ve heard before that Martinez police response is immediate. I guess if there’s not a lot of crime going on, and you’re on duty……

The Victims September 17, 2013 at 11:05 AM

@Mamba. I read it is one of the most common ways people are robbed. It gives them a great opportunity to case a house, see valuables etc. In fact, I am not sure the statistics, but you are much more likely to be robbed by someone you know than a stranger, also someone from real life more than from online, in all forms of crime I should say. Someone said once I was crazy to post online about this or that, but no one thinks twice about pinning a business card to a bulletin board somewhere, and to people local who can even follow you etc… With your number on it?? Name? . I think we should be cautious with our online activity, but twice as cautious with who we trust in real life. and workers have a percent of bad just as any group. In this case, we strongly believe this was the case. But we are not too worried now, with the attention this got, all our neighbors aware, people on alert more, the police involved, and the finger prints etc. Thank you Claycord, very much…

Lisa September 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM

We purchased a home about two months ago in the hills behind Alhambra High School. It’s a private road with no thru traffic. I left my car unlocked one night and someone ransacked it and stole a bag of clothes with receipts and a hat (of all things) Also we installed a new locking mailbox. Even though we did this I started noticing the door open at different times, this can only happen if someone opens the front. I am definately more alert ……and I also own a VERY LARGE German Shepherd. Not to mention you would NOT want to tangle with me if I am provoked >:(

Ladronas September 17, 2013 at 11:53 AM

3 incidences that I know of very recently. Two different households (each are close friends of mine) were ripped off when they weren’t home. Both have housekeepers. No signs of forced entry. Computers and jewelry stolen in broad daylight.
I recently stayed in a nice hotel out of town. When I returned from my trip I realized a favorite bracelet of mine was not in my luggage. My final conclusion was the maid stole it.

The Victims September 17, 2013 at 12:44 PM

@Angelica, Yes we still have our sense of humor. I would not if anyone got hurt. I am on alert more now, and a little angry, but I am trying to not let it make us stressed out too much or lesson our enjoyment of life. It was a little drama. I don’t need. Don’t like. I am just thankful they did not break n, because there would have been more drama, and I really don’t need that, or the mess…..

LafGrl September 17, 2013 at 1:21 PM

This whole thread is so helpful. I live in Lafayette neighborhood near freeway entrance. We have been under siege for about a year w/many break ins. We formed a neighborhood watch and that has helped so much. I know that when some aimless kid comes to my door with a weak excuse…he’s just
casing my front door area and trying to find out if I’m home. The nighttime
thing is very unsettling. It makes sense that they are scratching to smoke
out the dog…yikes…thanks for all the good info.

Steven September 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM

At #57: thanks for the crime map, however, your argument holds no weight when you say “Martinez has a lower crime rate, lower than Concord”…..

Lets just consider the size of Martinez vs. the size of Concord. Its like comparing apples to watermelons…. you can’t compare them because Concord is about 3x the size/population of Martinez. A higher crime rate is to be expected. However, the density of the crime is higher in Martinez…. as much as I appreciate you throwing off charts, you might want to learn about the data they contain.

Martinez has a long standing and well deserved repuatation as one of the most dangerous places in the county….. thats a fact.

The Victims September 17, 2013 at 3:27 PM

@ Steven . They measure it per capita, not in over all crime. So you are Way off base. So they take the population difference into consideration… BTW that is false. We have a relatively low crime rate in Martinez, with a couple areas of slightly higher rates. A very very low murder rate, I believe less than 1 a year, and that is not bad for a city of nearly 40,000. Actually very low. Not as low as Walnut creek, but walnut creek has a high property crime rate, and much lower than state average violent crime rate. You may be out of your league here to be polite, because I have studied this subject in depth for a long time…

Tree Farm September 17, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Is Gaul ever going to work during the sunlight?

francois September 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM

One day, Gaul will actually work during the sunlight.

Tree Farm September 18, 2013 at 12:50 AM

Maybe when he makes LT.

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