Alleged school bus thief strikes again in Redwood City | Local News


Miguel Murillo

Because of new state rules aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus by reducing jail populations, a man who was arrested last month for stealing and crashing a school bus was released and arrested again over the weekend — this time for stealing and crashing four trucks in Redwood City, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Miguel Santos Murillo, 23, of Redwood City, has been charged with six felonies, including commercial burglary, car theft and vandalism, plus four misdemeanors for his actions Sunday. Murillo has also been known as Santos Miguel Murillocuellas, Wagstaffe said.

Murillo already has faced charges related to a March 28 incident in which he allegedly stole a Sequoia Union High School District school bus and sped through Redwood City before striking a Pacific Gas and Electric transformer, causing more than $100,000 in damages, according to court documents.

Murillo was released from jail Saturday, Wagstaffe said. The next day, he allegedly committed a similar offense.

In the early-morning hours Sunday — police responded to a call at 4:30 a.m. — Murillo allegedly broke into All Fence Company, Inc., located at 1900 Spring St. He proceeded to steal one of the company’s trucks and crashed it into a pole before stealing a second truck and ramming it into the business’ gate, where it got stuck, Wagstaffe said. The keys to the trucks were in the ignition.

Murillo then stole a third truck, which officers found that morning stuck on the concrete train-track curb barrier near the intersection of Chestnut and Spring streets in Redwood City, Wagstaffe said.

After crashing the third truck, Murillo then went back to All Fence Company and stole a fourth truck, which he drove to Gunn High School in Palo Alto, Wagstaffe said. Murillo in the fourth truck rammed a fence at the school, sped around campus doing doughnuts — the antics were captured on surveillance video — and ultimately got stuck on the baseball field, Wagstaffe said, adding that Murillo was found by police on campus. There were no injuries.

Murillo was determined to be under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana when he was arrested, Wagstaffe said. Moving forward, his office will be looking into Murillo’s mental health history.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but he has all the characteristics of someone with methamphetamine and mental health problems,” Wagstaffe said, adding Murillo’s criminal history includes only a few minor infractions.

Wagstaffe’s office argued for an exception to the new state rules that would otherwise allow Murillo to walk again. The court accepted the argument and Murillo remains in custody on $1 million bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 29.

For the alleged school bus theft and associated damages, Murillo’s bail was set at $5,000, Wagstaffe said.

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