Stephen Ellison

Victim Detains Serial Burglar With Talk Before Arrest

A suspected serial burglar was arrested at a San Mateo home Thursday morning after being verbally detained by a worker who was staying at the house while renovating it for the owner.

Vincent Frank Dimassimo, 28, of San Mateo, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony burglary and six counts of possession of stolen property, according to the San Mateo Police Department. He was caught inside the home by Luciano Guana, who woke up to find a man sprinting out of the house in the 1500 block of Roberta Drive.

Guana chased Dimassimo down the street, but instead of tackling or punching him, he just talked to him. He asked the suspect to return his stolen property.

"He keeps on asking me not to call the cops, he keeps on begging me not to do anything big," Guana said, "but in the back of my head, this guy robbed me."

Gauna said he pretended to call his friends, but instead dialed 911, relaying information while he continued to talk with Dimassimo.

A subsequent investigation determined that the same home was burglarized just hours earlier on Wednesday night, and the crime was reported to San Mateo police just after 11 p.m., police said

In that report, Guana told authorities more than $9,000 in property had been stolen from the home, including more than $6,000 in commercial grade power tools and a flat screen television.

That night, Guana had returned to the home from another job to find the doors wide open.

"Everything's open, lights are all off; usually I leave the lights on," Guana said. "I walk back out to my truck, grab my bat, come in here and realize there's nothing. Everything got robbed."

Police said Dimassimo was the likely suspect in that crime and had returned to the home Thursday morning to steal more items.

San Mateo police detectives conducted a search of a nearby home where Dimassimo was believed to have stayed overnight and recovered stolen property from the burglary, police said. They then followed up on a series of prior incidents of vehicle burglaries in April and May in which Dimassimo was the suspect and believe there is now sufficient evidence to charge him with those crimes as well.

Police said Dimassimo has multiple prior arrests for various narcotic-related offenses.

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