Parolee arrested in Sonora motel room robbery

09/04/2014 6:42 AM

09/04/2014 6:30 PM

Police arrested a Tuolumne man Wednesday on suspicion of breaking into a room at a Sonora inn, tying up the occupant and stealing items from him.

Officers were called to the Inns of California in the 300 block of South Washington Street at 4:24 a.m. on a report of an armed robbery.

The victim told police he had been sleeping when a man wearing a mask and armed with a handgun kicked in the door to his room. The robber forced the man into the bathroom, tying him to the toilet.

The robber made off with the victim’s wallet, laptop computer, cellphone and his rented Kia Rio sedan. About an hour later, police said, the victim’s credit card was used to purchase gas at a convenience store in Sonora.

From a description of the man who bought gas, police determined it might have been Ramon Diaz, 38, a parolee who lives in Tuolumne County. Police went to the Tuolumne City area, where Diaz has friends.

At 11:07 a.m., officers found the stolen car parked in the driveway of a home, police said. With help from deputies of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, police contacted Diaz, whom police say had cut off his ankle bracelet monitor.

Diaz, who has a long criminal history, was on parole for burglary. Officers found all of the property stolen from the inn, except for the cellphone, police said. They also recovered a mask and fake handgun they believe Diaz used in the robbery, police said.

In addition to robbing the victim, police believe Diaz had kicked in the doors to several unoccupied rooms at the inn and taken property from them, as well.

Diaz was booked into Tuolumne County Jail on charges of home invasion robbery, felony kidnapping, felony burglary and felony vehicle theft.

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