A convicted felon accused of snatching a Hemet woman’s purse and fleeing to his house, where he tried unsuccessfully to hide, then later attempted to break out of jail, was charged Wednesday with grand theft and other offenses.
Jesus Galvan Mata Jr., 32, was arrested Friday after the alleged purse-snatching in the 300 block of Sanderson Avenue.
Along with theft, Mata is charged with resisting arrest and felonious escape. He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Jan. 7 at the Banning Justice Center.
Mata is being held in lieu of $90,000 bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.
According to Hemet police Lt. Nate Miller, shortly before 1 p.m. Friday, Mata allegedly grabbed a purse from a 58-year-old woman shopping at the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center on Sanderson Avenue.
Witnesses who observed the theft called 911, providing a description of the white Nissan sedan in which the defendant allegedly fled, Miller said.
Using the license plate information from the vehicle, patrol officers identified the driver as Mata and went to his residence a few blocks away, Miller said.
Because Mata is on active parole from state prison, deputies did not need a search warrant to enter his property, where they found him allegedly “hiding in a closet,” Miller said.
“The victim’s purse was also located in the home,” Miller said. “Additional evidence (that) linked Mata to the crime at Lowe’s (was seized).”
The parolee was taken to the Murrieta jail that evening, but after he was placed in a holding cell, a fight erupted between him and another detainee, according to Miller.
“While being moved to another cell to separate the two men, Mata attempted to run away,” Miller said. “Mata did not get away and was immediately captured.”
No one was injured during the alleged purse-snatching or during the jail confrontation.
According to court records, Mata has prior convictions for assault on a peace officer with a deadly weapon, felony evading, driving under the influence with a loaded firearm and willfully obstructing a law enforcement officer.