Parolee at Dana Point Halfway House Arrested After Burglary

Times Staff Writer

A 19-year-old man paroled for burglary to a south Orange County halfway house was arrested early Monday by sheriff's deputies on suspicion of robbing a 52-year-old Dana Point woman at knifepoint in her bedroom, authorities said.

Sheriff's Lt. Dick Olson said Christopher Harold Morgan, a resident of Straightahead House in Dana Point, was being held in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail on suspicion of armed robbery.

Morgan was arrested in San Juan Capistrano shortly after 6 a.m. by sheriff's deputies who pulled over a brown two-door Lincoln Continental matching the description of a car stolen two hours earlier from a condominium in the 33000 block of Walkabout Lane in Dana Point.

Knife Near Face

Tom Jones, assistant to the California Youth Authority's Region 4 administrator in Tustin, said Monday that Morgan had served time in a CYA facility for burglary before being paroled to the residential treatment center at 34185 Coast Highway.

Olson said the woman said she was awakened in her bedroom by a man holding a kitchen knife near her face about 4 a.m., calling her by name and demanding her car keys. He said the intruder had already taken $100 in cash from her purse.

When the woman, whose name was withheld, turned over the keys, the intruder tied her up and took off in her car, Olson said. She was not assaulted or injured, he said.

At 5:48 a.m., the woman managed to work free of the bindings and telephone authorities, Olson said. Eighteen minutes later Morgan was stopped in San Juan Capistrano and taken into custody without incident, Olson said.

Jones did not know how long Morgan had been at the halfway house nor did he know details of his original burglary case.

But Jones said young men between the ages of 18 and 23 are usually given interim placement at a halfway house because they need special treatment, training or cannot be released to their families. Jones said CYA placements generally have curfew regulations, require counseling and are either working or in job training as a condition of parole.

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