San Jose police say 7 hostages taken at DMV

The Associated Press
Wednesday June 06, 2001

SAN JOSE — San Jose police responded to a call Tuesday evening that several armed men took hostages at a Department of Motor Vehicles office. 

Police received a cell phone call at 6:01 p.m. from a woman who said men armed with rifles and wearing black bandanas entered the office, spokesman Rubens Dalaison said. 

More than two hours after the initial call, police had not yet established how many gunmen there might be, or indeed whether they were still in the building once officers responded. 

There were no initial reports of injuries. 

The woman said she was calling from a bathroom inside the office, where six other employees were huddled, Dalaison said. 

“We haven’t made contact with anybody inside,” Dalaison said. 

He said the incident might have started as a robbery. The office is located at 180 Martinvale Lane in an industrial area of south San Jose. 

DMV spokesman Bill Branch said the office closed at 5 p.m. 

Branch said that while robbers have hit DMV offices before, longtime department officials could not recall a hostage incident. 

“We have had robberies occasionally at DMV offices,” Branch said. “I have no idea how much cash would have been involved.”