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The buck stops at prison: Thief sentenced for taking $1 from teen
August 21, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Matthew Nguyen

What does $1 get you?

If you’re Matthew Nguyen, that buck means two years in prison. The 22-year-old San Mateo man was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for robbing a teen girl of $1 after entering her backyard and pointing an Airsoft pistol through the window.

Nguyen pleaded no contest in July to robbery and admitting using a deadly weapon in return for no more than five years in prison. Prosecutors dropped other charges of assault and vandalism stemming from his alleged punching at an officer — he missed — and damage of the police station holding room after his arrest.

On Wednesday, Judge Jonathan Karesh opted for the lower term and terminated his probation in an earlier conviction which he violated with the new arrest.

He has credit of 202 days against his prison term earned while in custody on $50,000 bail and must serve 85 percent of the rest.

San Mateo police arrested Nguyen Feb. 26 after responding to calls of a suspected robber in the 3200 block of Verdun Avenue. According to the girl, she was sitting at her dining room table inside the home when she looked up from her homework to see a man in a ski mask standing outside the window pointing a gun. The man yelled for her “to just get money” and she screamed for her father who called police. The girl pulled a $1 bill from her pocket and handed it to the man through the door before he fled.

Police found Nguyen nearby wearing clothing that matched the girl’s description and possessing both the dollar and pistol.


(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: police, prison, nguyen, after, years,

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