|For Immediate Release
Case # 10WF1293 July 28, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
PAROLEE-AT-LARGE SENTENCED TO 11 YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS IN PRISON FOR STEALING GUNS, CAR AND OVER $41,000 IN PROPERTY IN 14 RESIDENTIAL BURGLARIES
*Defendant entered homes through dog door, smashed windows, or unlocked front door
SANTA ANA – A parolee-at-large was sentenced today to 11 years and eight months in state prison for 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, 43, pleaded guilty to a court offer to 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 was on parole at the time of the crimes. The People objected to the sentence, arguing for 18 years in state prison.
Between December 2007 and April 2010, Zoller committed 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 rode his bicycle to the homes of the victims and either observed the house at length to determine when the residents would be home, or knocked 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 broke 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 restrained two large dogs by tethering one and locking the second in a kennel.
Zoller ransacked the houses and stole jewelry, DVDs, video games, power tools and three firearms. From one home he stole the victim’s Honda Odyssey. In all, the defendant stole 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 sold 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.