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More details emerging in hostage case: San Mateo residential burglary gone awry leads to litany of felony charges
April 03, 2014, 05:00 AM By Aimee Lewis Strain Bay

The man police believe held a woman captive for 24 hours in her San Mateo home after a residential burglary gone awry will appear in San Mateo County Superior Court on Tuesday to face felony charges including kidnapping, burglary, robbery and assault, police and prosecutors said Wednesday.

Police arrested Hugo Heduardo Munguia-Hernandez, 20, of Redwood City, on Thursday, 12 days after the March 17 incident at a home on Edinburgh Street in San Mateo’s quiet Aragon neighborhood, said San Mateo police Sgt. David Norris.

Munguia-Hernandez faces numerous felony charges including kidnapping, burglary, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a Taser, identity theft, elder abuse, grand theft auto, receiving stolen property and possessing a firearm, according to court documents. He is being held on a no-bail status at the San Mateo County Jail.

It was about 12:30 p.m. on Monday, March 17 when a 66-year-old woman returned home from the grocery store to find the suspect alone in her house, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office.

The woman, who did not know her attacker, confronted the suspect, who prosecutors say then attacked her, using a Taser multiple times in her neck, face and arms to subdue her. Court documents reveal that the suspect allegedly bound the woman’s wrists and ankles, gagged her with a sock, stuck a bag over her head and forced her into a closet, where she remained for the entire night.

During the violent attack, prosecutors allege Munguia-Hernandez brandished a handgun and threatened the victim, stating that he would kill the victim and her family and torch the home if she reported the incident to police.

While the woman was held in the closet, the suspect allegedly went in and out of the home several times, each time taking with him stolen goods, including a television, wallet and jewelry, according to prosecutors. He allegedly used her ATM card four times, and it was a surveillance photo taken in one of those incidents that eventually led to his arrest.

On March 18, Munguia-Hernandez allegedly forced the woman to remove her clothing and shower to remove the tape marks from her face, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Once the man was gone, the victim broke free and called police.

Police circulated the surveillance photo captured at a local Bank of America ATM to the public and were contacted with 340 solid leads, Norris said.

“The leads helped us put together some good details and based on further investigation and surveillance with plain-clothes officers and unmarked cars, we knew we had the right person,” Norris said.

At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, police arrested Munguia-Hernandez at his Redwood City home. A search warrant of the home “seized significant evidence tying him to the crime,” Norris said.

Police believe the isolated incident started as a typical burglary, in which the suspect knocked on the door to determine if anyone was home. Unlocked perimeter gates and doors then allowed the suspect access into the home, Norris said.

“The suspect chose the house totally at random,” Norris said. “The woman interrupted a residential burglary and he decided to escalate it.”

Munguia-Hernandez is scheduled to appear Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. for his initial felony arraignment.



Tags: police, suspect, hernandez, munguia, norris, woman,

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