Almanac

News - September 8, 2010

Siblings arrested in hotel robbery

by Sue Dremann

A brazen late-night attack on a Palo Alto hotel worker in his room has ended with the arrest of two Menlo Park siblings.

Eric Dang Stuart, 50, and Mary Patricia Stuart, 52, allegedly forced their way into a room at Hotel California, located at Ash Street and California Avenue, at 11:42 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29.

The brother and sister were known to the 45-year-old hotel employee and had an ongoing dispute regarding financial matters, according to Palo Alto police spokesman Max Nielepko.

The victim had the door secured with a safety chain when the Stuarts forced their way in, Mr. Nielepko reported. The man was assaulted and pushed down during the robbery but received only minor injuries.

His keys and cell phone were taken, Mr. Nielepko said. The employee immediately called police and provided a location where the Stuarts might be found.

Police waited outside the Stuarts' residence on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park and detained the pair as they drove up. They were identified in a lineup and booked on a variety of charges.

Eric Stuart was booked on four charges: felony robbery, felony conspiracy, misdemeanor assault and battery, and a felony parole violation for a previous conviction for assault with a deadly weapon. He remains in custody in Santa Clara County jail.

Mary Stuart was booked on three charges: felony robbery, felony conspiracy and misdemeanor assault and battery. She was released from jail, Mr. Nielepko said.

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