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.
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
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.
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.