Cops say bungling burglar left phone number with victim, then fell for date-night sting
Posted on Tuesday, March 25 at 12:07pm | By Henry K. Lee
A tip for lovelorn crooks: don’t give out your digits to the pretty employee at your favorite restaurant if you plan to burglarize the joint later.
A suspect in a break-in at a San Mateo restaurant, who thought he was headed for a hot date, learned that lesson the hard way when his love interest helped bring him down instead of spicing things up.
It all started about 1:30 a.m. Saturday when employees at Curry Up Now, an Indian restaurant at 129 South B St., interrupted a burglary in progress, catching a man stacking a TV and other electronics by the rear door.
The man fled, but not before one of the workers, 22-year-old bartender Ashleigh Cullen, recognized the suspect as someone “who had flirted with her” just a half-hour earlier as she was helping to close up the business, police said.
And it turned out, the man had provided Cullen with his name and phone number, police said.
So officers decided to impersonate the young woman by setting up a “date” with her admirer, 31-year-old Keveen Quintanilla of Burlingame, through a series of text messages.
They lured him to a location near Burlingame Avenue and California Drive about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, where Quintanilla was promptly arrested by plainclothes officers.
A search of his home uncovered property stolen from the restaurant, police said.
Quintanilla — who had been free in lieu of $25,000 bail for felony possession of drug paraphernalia in jail — was returned to San Mateo County Jail. Prosecutors have charged him with commercial burglary, possession of stolen property and drug violations.