Police are searching for a man who attacked a San Mateo woman and held her hostage for nearly a day after she walked in on him burglarizing her home Monday.
They have released a photograph of the suspect and are asking the public for help.
A 66-year-old woman arrived at her Edinburgh Street home in the Aragon neighborhood around 12:45 p.m. Monday when she was confronted and attacked by the man. The man was armed with a handgun and, after tying the victim up, left to hit multiple ATMs and returned to the home at least once, San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris said.
“Obviously this was a very violent crime and very infrequent in San Mateo. All of our detectives are putting their available resources into trying to identify this suspect and get him into custody to get this person off the street,” Norris said.
Over the following 24 hours, he accessed her account through multiple ATMs, including one located at the Bank of America on Third Avenue and El Camino Real, Norris said.
The man returned to the woman’s home and stole items including jewelry and miscellaneous electronics before finally leaving the house with the woman still tied up, Norris said.
The woman was able to break free around noon Tuesday and went to a neighbor to call police, Norris said.
The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital where she was later released, Norris said.
There has been an uptick in burglaries throughout the Bay Area and this appears to have the robbery of an unoccupied home gone wrong.
“There’s been nothing like this. It appears to have been an isolated incident. It appears to have sprung from a residential burglary and we consistently have a number of residential burglaries that we are working on in the city of San Mateo and most of those have occurred in unoccupied homes. So it appears this suspect was burglarizing what he thought was an unoccupied home,” Norris said.
If anyone encounters a person committing a crime they should not confront the suspect but immediately contact police, Norris said.
“But in this particular circumstance, she walked into her house and was surprised and I don’t think there was anything she could have done to back out of it,” Norris said.
Police released a photo taken from an ATM of the man responsible for the crime, Norris said. Many of the details regarding the crime are being held as the case is still under investigation, Norris said.
He is described as Hispanic in his 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build and medium length hair with a “wave” at the end, according to police. He was photographed wearing a beanie and dark zipped-up jacket partially covering his face.
Anyone with information should contact San Mateo police at (650) 522-7700.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106