San Jose Council Candidate’s Stolen Car Allegedly Used in Gang-Related Drive-By

Each campaign season brings its sign swindlers. But San Jose City Council candidate Jenny Higgins Bradanini had to deal with that and then some.

The District 10 contender walked out of her Almaden Valley home Saturday morning to find her white 2013 Range Rover SUV missing—and all the “Vote Jenny” lawn signs and banners stored therein. “It’s crazy,” she says. “I was looking around going, ‘Wait, did I let someone borrow my car? Did I park it somewhere and don’t remember?’”

Turns out, whoever jacked her car went on to commit a gang-related drive-by shooting, according to San Jose police. She says a detective told her that SJPD fielded reports of her car driving erratically and getting involved in a hit-and-run. “So, if you happen to see ‘Vote Jenny’ fliers scattered across the freeway or an 8-foot ‘Vote Jenny for San Jose’ [banner], be sure to let me know,” she posted on Facebook over the weekend.

In a phone call with Fly Tuesday, Higgins Bradanini says police seemed flabbergasted about the incident, saying the suspects targeted a safe neighborhood and a vehicle make and model rarely targeted in auto thefts. How the thieves pulled it off remains a bit of a mystery, too, she says.

Police told her they believed the crooks hijacked her SUV’s signal because her key fob, which was in her purse upstairs by a window at the front of the house, was close enough to the car to start the engine. “Apparently, the law hasn’t kept up with the technology,” Higgins Bradanini says.

Though SJPD found her car by Tuesday, it remains in impound because whoever took it used it to commit another offense. For now, Higgins Bradanini says she’s getting around in a Ford Escort as she deals with her insurance company, which for some reason only covered $10 a day for a rental and nothing since police found her car—even though she can’t use it because it’s on lockdown.

For Higgins Bradanini, the whole days-long ordeal shook her to the core.

“My first reaction was disbelief, not because I see my neighborhood as immune, but because you don’t want to think it can be true, and we all keep so much of our lives in our vehicles,” she says. “From the initial police reports, this was a potential gang-related theft as my vehicle was supposedly used in a robbery and shooting. If it hadn’t been my vehicle, someone else’s would have been stolen for this crime.”

“I feel terrible that someone may have been harmed,” she adds, “but I’m motivated to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Send a tip to The Fly

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

14 Comments

  1. This is every San Jose resident’s experience. Pathetic how San José Inside is becoming the local elites’ PR firm. SHAME ON YOU SJI! Women’s March is an Antisemite movement run by antisemites!

  2. > “but I’m motivated to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

    Great! How motivated are you?

    This is your opportunity to tell voters how you, as a prospective city council member, propose to address San Jose’s crime problem.

    Oh, and don’t forget issues that are tied into the crime problem, like say, out of control immigration, sanctuary city policies, gangs, drugs, nomadic itinerants, “foragers”, etc.

    Can you say “border crisis”, or is that something that’s “not real”?

  3. She won’t be representing the residents of SJ if elected. She will be representing the other Almaden Valley residents who drive Range Rovers. Much like Khamis, the former CEO.

  4. I am positive the perpetrators will be protected by the liberals to commit the crimes again. Ahhhhhh diversity in action.

  5. Johnny Khamis is already calling the Chiefs office for a special team of detectives to work her auto theft. Its how they do it in the corrupt little town of San Jose.

  6. Did anyone check to see if she is missing a gun that might have been used in the drive by shooting? You can never tell about these ruling class types, guns, knives, smuggled child!
    Was the car locked in a garage? Did it have a steering wheel lock in place on the steering wheel.
    I think if your car is stolen and used in a gun crime you should go to jail just like the gun owner.
    As a member potential member of the ruling class she should lead by example and use public transportation. Or Uber. Perhaps we should call for an investigation into collusion with people that steal cars, like Russians!

  7. Ah, life in SJ. The tolerance for crime starts with voters and end w/ the City Council. Until the #1 line item in the $4B annual budget is building a valid police force, expect more of this – and worse.

    • The #1 line item in the City’s “$4 Billion annual budget” (about a third of which is actual operating funds that pay for services like police/fire and operating parks/libraries/community centers) is…drumroll…Public Safety! 51% of the General Fund goes to police & fire. http://sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/84160. About $444 million of the $1.1 billion General Fund is spent on Police, specifically. The real problem here is Propositions 47/57 – the weak-on-crime measures that have swung the pendulum too far in favor of the criminal and are resulting in increased property crimes. People should ask the candidates where they stand on reforming Props 47/57.

  8. What a strange collection of illiberal comments…lets blame the politics of SJ and CA’s attempt to create a more just and thoughtful culture for the actions of a few – or a lot of – idiots, like the cretin who just drove down my street at speed, barely avoiding the moron parked in the middle of the street while nattering on his phone. It ain’t bad laws or poor policing, it’s thoughtless, stupid people who just don’t care.

    • Thoughtless,stupid people will surely never be swayed to act better if there’s no consequence. Does SJ even arrest minors anymore or have all the rules changes so we give ’em a big hug, tell them we know how hard their lives are so just try to play nice? SJ has a compassionate heart at the polls and have now made themselves vulnerable to br victimized by every and any person who can claim a hard luck story.

      It’s ridiculous that protecting this and criminals is more of a priority than protecting law abiding citizens

  9. It would appear Ms. Brandanini failed to lock her vehicle, and she effectively left the key in the ignition. Wireless, but the key fob was evidently close enough to allow her car to start.

    The we learn she failed to understand that her auto policy only covers $10 a day car rental, coverage ceases once the car is recovered by police, but not returned. Compounding the tragedy, she is reduced to driving an Escort. Using VTA is simply incomprehensible for Ms. Brandanini.

    Perhaps this is a celestial sign to everyone that we don’t need more stupid elected officials. If someone won’t exercise minimal due-diligence for themselves, no reason to expect them to safeguard public interest once in office.

    • The car is six years old. That is not new technology.
      We must accept responsibility for ourselves and our property.
      And remember a jenny is a female ass.

  10. Get your car serviced at Jiffy Lube (or equivalent) recently? If so, that is where they copied the key or keypad code.

Leave a Reply