FREMONT -- A sophisticated team of 15 robbers armed with rifles and handguns, wearing masks and matching black clothing, tied up five employees of a high-tech manufacturer Sunday morning and stole a "significant amount" of computer components, police said.

No injuries were reported, and no arrests have been made, Sgt. Chris Mazzone said.

The robbers arrived at Unigen Corp., on Warm Springs Boulevard near Interstate in 680 in south Fremont, a little after 8:40 a.m.

Within minutes, the team of thieves forced the employees to hand over their wallets and cell phones, and then to lie down while blindfolded, tied up and gagged, police said.

One of the employees told police that he could hear the men loading items onto a truck.

The company's surveillance video showed "all the suspects got into a large moving-company-type truck at 9:11 a.m. and left," Mazzone said.

One employee got free a few minutes later, and called police, who arrived at 9:17 a.m., Mazzone said.

Police on Monday still were unsure what exactly was stolen.

"It could be processors, microchips, anything like that," Mazzone said. "We're still waiting for an inventory report, and they'll be going through their stuff today."

Founded in 1991 as a manufacturer of memory module solutions for high-tech equipment, Unigen also has offices in Taiwan, Shanghai, Malaysia and Vietnam, according to its website.


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"There's a police investigation going on so we cannot comment," a Unigen employee said Monday when asked about the robbery. The employee also declined to identify herself.

Authorities said this type of sophisticated, high-tech robbery has occurred before in Fremont, but it has been several years.

"It looks as if they're operating as a ring," Mazzone said. "In the past, loose-knit informal rings from Southern California have come up to an area, commit a number of thefts over a day or two, and then leave."

With the robbers' masks and matching clothing, all witnesses could provide for a suspect description was "15 males of unknown race," authorities said.

"Typically, these are disciplined, professional people," Mazzone said. "My feeling is, with the sophistication they showed, this was a targeted operation."

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.