Shoplifter accused of stabbing security guards to be sentenced
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 04/10/18 - 10:58 AM | 3842 views | 0 0 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A shoplifter suspected of stabbing two security guards at a Midway Drive grocery store has pleaded guilty to robbery and to stealing a "bait bicycle" that was left by police as part of a strategy to combat thefts.

Matthew Louis Hoag, 23, faces up to eight years and eight months in state prison when he is sentenced on June 15, according to San Diego Superior Court records.

Hoag admitted to the robbery charge involving a Dec. 8, 2017 incident at the Vons grocery store at 3651 Midway Drive. His attorney wrote he was shoplifting food when two security guards approached him. He pulled a knife and stabbed one man in the leg and the other guard was cut on his hand.

Hoag was to have been sentenced April 6, and Deputy District Attorney Meghan Buckner said Monday she objected to the delay. Hoag's attorney won the delay so a representative from a drug rehabilitation program can interview Hoag in jail and determine if he would benefit from the program.

Buckner said Hoag was charged with grand theft in a Nov. 15, 2017, incident in which police left a "bait bike" to see if anyone would take it as part of a strategy to combat bicycle thefts. Hoag took the bicycle and was promptly arrested. He posted bond and was released, but a month later he stabbed the two loss prevention employees as he left the store without paying for food.

Hoag's attorney, Geoffrey Hill, wrote in court documents that Hoag was remorseful and was homeless at the time. He is asking the judge to sentence him to no more than two years and eight months in prison.

One guard sent a letter to Judge Michael Groch saying he was stabbed in the leg that left a 3-inch long wound that penetrated three inches deep. He had to go a hospital emergency room for treatment.

Assault charges and possession of burglary tools were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea to grand theft and robbery. Groch indicated he would limit the sentence to five years in prison.  

Hoag remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility without bail.

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