|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
PAROLEE-AT-LARGE CHARGED WITH STEALING GUNS, CAR AND OVER $41,000 IN PROPERTY IN 14 RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES
WESTMINSTER – A parolee-at-large has been charged with breaking into 14 homes, stealing a car and more than $41,000 in property, and selling the stolen items on the street or to pawn shops. Samuel Lono Zoller, 42, is charged with fourteen felony counts of first degree residential burglary, three felony counts of theft of a firearm, and one felony count of the unlawful taking of a vehicle. He has a prior strike conviction for residential burglary in 2008, for which he is on parole. If convicted, Zoller faces a maximum sentence of 58 years in state prison. The defendant is being held without bail and is expected to be arraigned this afternoon, Friday, June 18, 2010, in Department W-14, West Justice Center, Westminster.
Between December 2007 and April 2010, Zoller is accused of committing 14 residential burglaries, 12 of which occurred between January and April 2010, by breaking in to unoccupied homes in the area of Bowles Avenue in Garden Grove.
The defendant is accused of riding his bicycle to the homes of the victims and either observing the house at length to determine when the residents would be home, or knocking on the victims’ doors to verify that the home was unoccupied. One of the homes was the residence of Zoller’s girlfriend’s family. All of the residential burglaries occurred in the afternoon.
Once Zoller believed that the residents were not home, he is accused of breaking in to the houses by prying open or smashing windows, entering through an unlocked front door, and in one case climbing in through a dog door. In one of the victim’s houses, Zoller is accused of restraining two large dogs by tethering one and locking the second in a kennel.
Zoller is accused of ransacking the houses and stealing jewelry, DVDs, video games, power tools and three firearms. From one home he is accused of stealing the victim’s Honda Odyssey. In all, the defendant is accused of stealing over $41,000 in property plus the cost of the stolen vehicle. The Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) investigated the burglaries.
After committing the residential burglaries, Zoller is accused of selling the stolen property on the street or in pawn shops. A pawn shop owner contacted GGPD after becoming suspicious of Zoller when a victim went in to the shop with an itemized list of stolen property to see if anything had been sold to the shop. The items on the list matched several items the shop owner had purchased from Zoller several days prior.
Zoller, who at the time of the residential burglaries was at-large on parole after failing to report to his parole agent, was arrested June 15, 2010, by GGPD officer at the Costa Mesa Motor Inn on Harbor Boulevard. Much of the stolen property has not been recovered but some of the property was recovered from the pawn shop and motel where Zoller was arrested.