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San Mateo, CA Police Department
Tuesday January 22nd, 2019 :: 04:57 p.m. PST


SMPD arrests two suspects in violent robbery

This is an update regarding the attempt to identify press release issued on January 14th. San Mateo Police Department officers have identified and arrested two suspects in connection with a robbery that occurred near E Poplar Ave / N Ellsworth Ave in December. Both press releases were merged onto one document for your convenience.

On Sunday, December 9, 2018, at about 8 p.m., San Mateo police officers responded to a victim who reported he was robbed by two men near E Poplar Ave / N Ellsworth Ave. The suspects punched the victim several times in the face and stole his property.
Shortly before the robbery, Jose Rodriguez-Barraza and Mitchell Zaragoza were seen on surveillance inside a local store where the victim was shopping. They exited the store around the same time as the victim and committed the robbery shortly thereafter.   
On January 14, 2019, San Mateo Police distributed a press release to our media partners and shared images of the suspects on our social media platforms. Within a few hours of the broadcast, Zaragoza turned himself in to police for committing the robbery. San Mateo Police continued working this case in search of the second suspect. Additional information led officers to positively identify Rodriguez-Barraza as the outstanding suspect.
On January 21, 2019, the San Mateo Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) spotted Rodriguez-Barraza in the 200 Block of N Amphlett Blvd - just a short walk from the original robbery location. Rodriguez-Barraza was quickly apprehended by CRU without incident and transported to San Mateo County Jail.
The San Mateo Police Department is grateful for the strong partnerships we have with the media, our active neighborhood watch program, and the engagement on our social media platforms. Together, we’re able to promote safety, solve crime, and deter criminal activity in San Mateo.
SMPD has a few robbery prevention tips to share with our community:

  • Stay alert!
  • Trust your instincts. If you sense danger, move away from it and call the police.
  • Travel with others and walk in well-lit areas.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight.
In the event of a robbery, SMPD has some helpful tips to share:
  • Call 9-1-1 immediately and remain on the line.
  • Don’t chase the robber. Leave this to the police. 
  • Don’t touch anything the robber may have touched.
  • Write down a description of the robber and weapon as soon as you are able.
  • If the robber had a car, write down the color, make, model, and license plate.
Jose Rodriguez-Barraza 28-year-old from San Mateo
Booking Charge: Second degree robbery
Mitchell Zaragoza 30-year-old from San Mateo
Booking Charge: Second degree robbery


Officer Michael Haobsh


San Mateo, CA Police Department
200 Franklin Pkwy
San Mateo, CA 94403

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 650-522-7700

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