Judge finds probable cause to charge ex-convict with 20 offenses
Roland Hernandez Muna, a notorious burglar who was arrested for allegedly burglarizing four vehicles at Stanford Resort Hotel in San Vicente last May 27, was also charged for burglarizing four cars at Hilltop Apartments located near the hotel on that same day.
As this developed, Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio at yesterday’s preliminary hearing found probable cause to charge the 26-year-old Muna with all 20 criminal charges in connection with the burglary of vehicles at Stanford Resort Hotel and Hilltop Apartments.
Kim-Tenorio ordered Muna to answer the charges: eight counts of burglary, eight counts of criminal mischief, two counts of theft, one count of illegal possession of controlled substance, and one count of eluding a police officer.
Muna’s arraignment will be on June 8.
Kim-Tenorio noted that the testimony of police detective Catherine B. Pangelinan, who was without any notes on her, was very detailed.
The judge said Pangelinan provided the names of eight alleged victims, the license plates of all eight cars, and numerous stolen items, including their brands.
The alleged victims are Koreans and Chinese.
In her testimony, Pangelinan even remembered the exact time when the caller contacted the police and when Muna was placed under arrest.
Pangelinan said the total worth of stolen items in the Stanford incident was $7,223, while in the Hilltop case was over $500.
Pangelinan said based on her quotation, the value of the damage on the rear vent windows, or the triangular windows, of each eight vehicles was $260.
Asked by assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas as to why Muna broke the triangular windows to open the cars, the detective said according to a police officer, who is also a mechanic, it is the area of the car when it’s damaged the alarm would not trigger.
Assistant public defender Michael Sato, counsel for Muna, opposed Barcinas’ oral motion to add two more charges: burglary and theft.
Sato said the prosecution moved to amend the information as a result of his cross-examination on detective Pangelinan.
Kim-Tenorio granted the motion to amend the information and noted Sato’s objection.
Pangelinan said police found in Muna’s possession methamphetamine or “ice” when caught after a car chase with police officers.
Pangelinan stated that a man called the Department of Public Safety’s emergency line last May 27 at 1:41am about a burglary and theft in progress on vehicles in the parking lot of Stanford Hotel.
Police officers’ responded and led to the chase and subsequent arrest of Muna.
Inside the silver Toyota Corolla with license plate AEK-641 that Muna driven, police found several handbags and purses, two set of golf clubs, two large boxes, kids’ books, a glass tube, several business cards, and other items. The car is registered to Blue Sky International.
The owners of damaged vehicles went to the police station and positively identified their items that were recovered inside Muna’s car.
Police also recovered a metal tool that was believed used in breaking the triangular windows.