General Crime

* Sione Motuapuaka Sentenced To 60 In Prison For Robbery Spree

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A 37-year-old man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison in accordance with a plea deal related to a series of robberies in San Mateo County last year, including the robbery and sexual assault of a gas station employee in San Bruno. Sione Motuapuaka, who initially pleaded not guilty to the crimes after his arrest in February 2009, pleaded no contest on Feb. 5 to nine felonies including commercial burglary, robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. He was sentenced Friday in San Mateo County Superior Court to 60 years in prison with credit for time served. Wagstaffe said Motuapuaka must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, meaning he would be nearly 90 years old at the time of his first parole hearing. Motuapuaka committed the armed robberies at various businesses, including a doughnut shop and a sandwich shop, between January and his arrest in mid February of last year. On Feb. 8, police and prosecutors said, Motuapuaka entered a San Bruno gas station and brandished a gun at the female employee. He directed the woman into the back of the store, where he sexually assaulted her, San Bruno police Cmdr. Marc Catalano said. After the assault, he left the woman tied up in the back room while he opened the cashier area and even waited on a customer, police said. He then took an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and left the gas station on foot, Catalano said. The other four robberies happened in January in Daly City and Colma. On Jan. 3, Motuapuaka was accused of robbing a liquor store on School Street in Daly City with a sawed-off shotgun. Two days later, he robbed a flower shop in Colma, also armed with a shotgun, Daly City police Lt. Jay Morena said. A doughnut shop on San Pedro Road in Daly City was robbed Jan. 16, as was a sandwich shop in the Skyline Plaza shopping center in Daly City on Jan. 28, according to Morena. Motuapuaka was arrested at his Daly City home on Feb. 12 after robbery task force investigators identified him as the suspect based on security surveillance videos.

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