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[whitespace] Saratoga teen faces charges in a string of local burglaries

Saratoga--The term "neighborhood watch" has taken on a whole new meaning for residents in the area surrounding Foothill School.

That's because Santa Clara County Sheriff deputies have arrested 18-year-old Matthew Hahn, a nearby resident, on Feb. 18 for several burglaries in the area.

Hahn, a lifelong resident of Saratoga, was charged with 12 counts of burglary, four counts of grand theft and one count of possession of stolen property by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office.

His bail has been set at $500,000 and he remains in custody in the Santa Clara County Jail.

Rich Roggio, Hahn's attorney, said his client plans to enter a plea of not guilty at his arraignment scheduled for March 2.

Roggio also said that he believes his client has no record of previous convictions. According to sheriff's department officials, Hahn's prior record--if one exists--cannot be released because he would have been a minor.

Hahn had a previous arraignment hearing on Feb. 24, but it was continued because Roggio had just received his discovery packet.

Hahn's arrest came after the sheriff's office received a call on Feb. 18 at 3 a.m. of a possible break-in at a home on Pike Road. When deputies responded, they found a minivan that allegedly belonged to Hahn with its engine running near the Pike Avenue home.

According to the sheriff's dept., items found inside the van, including cellular phones, a laptop computer, silverware, stereo speakers and vintage wine, were linked to other Saratoga burglaries.

Sgt. Jose Salcido served a search warrant at Hahn's home later in the morning. Investigators say they found jewelry, video equipment, camera equipment, a shotgun, walkie talkies and a briefcase. All the items found, Salcido said, are connected to previous burglaries in Saratoga.

Sgt. John Hirokawa said that the sheriff's department believes Hahn is linked to burglaries dating back to November 1998 but with most of them occurring in February 1999. Officials said they don't think Hahn acted alone. The department is still investigating the matter.

The method of entry into the homes in the burglaries was through unlocked garages and unlocked side garage doors, sheriff officials said.

"The unusual thing about this case is that most of the cases were during the early morning or night hours when people were sleeping," Hirokawa said. Most residential burglaries happen during the day when no one is home, he said.

Residents with any additional information on the burglaries can contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff Department Westside substation at 867-9721.
Michelle Alaimo

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