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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Bay Area Man Sentenced to 5 years
Prison in Burglary of 96-Year-Old Sonoma Resident

Santa Rosa, CA  –  September 12, 2018  –  Defendant Tommy Mitchell, 29-years-old of Oakland, was sentenced to five years in state prison today by the Honorable Dana Simonds after having pled no contest in May of this year to residential burglary with an enhancement for committing the crime against an elder adult. The defendant further admitted a prior “strike” offense based on a 2016 conviction where he committed a prior residential burglary under similar circumstances. In the prior case Mitchell burglarized the home of an 89-year-old woman in Gardena, California. Mitchell was on probation for the Gardena burglary when he committed the current offense.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “To deliberately target the elderly for financial gain, particularly in their homes, is really unconscionable. Thanks to the good Samaritans, this thief was apprehended and will serve a term in state prison. This case serves as an important reminder for all of us to keep an eye out for our neighbors.”

On July 10, 2017 Mitchell and two co-defendants broke into the home of 96-year-old Jane Doe along Highway 12 in Sonoma. While Mitchell distracted the elderly woman in her backyard, where he had led her under the guise of discussing landscaping, the other men entered the home and carried out her safe and other belongings. Two female Mary’s Pizza employees observed the burglary from across the street and called law enforcement. Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies apprehended the three men within city limits with the victim’s property inside their car. This burglary follows a scheme perpetrated in other parts of California where a group of burglars will target elderly victims living alone and steal their property while one perpetrator distracts the victim.

At the sentencing hearing the victim’s daughter urged the court to sentence Mitchell to state prison, describing how this crime took away her mother’s sense of security inside a home she had lived in for 79 years.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Martina Kitzmueller, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Matthew Stapleton.



Contact Information

Joan Croft
Media Coordinator
Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone
600 Administration Drive
Room 212 J
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.466524, -122.726273