Robber Given Jail Term for Brutal Crimes
A 27-year-old man with prior convictions for robbery and rape was sentenced Wednesday in Torrance Superior Court to more than 56 years in prison for a series of brutal robberies last year throughout the South Bay.
Steven Thomas Jones, convicted July 17 on 14 felony charges ranging from robbery to assault and rape, had been accused of invading seven homes by posing as a door-to-door salesman and then savagely beating the people inside.
In one case last January, he forced his way into the home of a 22-year-old Manhattan Beach woman after she answered a knock on the door, court records show. The woman told police that her attacker threw her to the floor, hogtied her with a surfboard leash, blindfolded her with a pair of tights and raped her before beating her in the face and head with a typewriter.
Other victims included a Torrance housekeeper and a 5-year-old child for whom she was caring and a 71-year-old woman whom he followed into a Torrance house as she carried groceries in from her car. Sulman said the series of robberies ended on May 18, 1989, when Jones grabbed a 71-year-old Manhattan Beach woman as she cleaned out her car and dragged her at gunpoint into her house. When she began to scream, court records show, he beat her unconscious with the gun, but she revived and began screaming again.
Jones fled to the garage of a neighbor, whom he shot and robbed, but was apprehended minutes later after police spotted the neighbor’s stolen car on Inglewood Avenue. Jones abandoned the car, ran to a nearby house and pleaded with a teen-age boy there to hide him, Sulman said. The boy locked Jones in a closet and flagged down police.