Robber faces life sentence for burglaries

A San Francisco man involved in a string of Foster City burglaries in 2004 is expected to receive a life sentence for the heists, though his attorney still maintains that the 35-year-old had nothing to do with the thefts.

Ryan Bui was convicted in June of four felony counts of residential burglary and attempted burglary. The conviction is Bui’s third-strike felony against the state; he had been convicted of seven different residential burglaries in the past.

The scheduled sentencing for Bui was delayed Thursday to Sept. 19, at which time his attorney, Kenneth Quigley, will submit a motion to strike some of his prior seven house burglary convictions in hopes of a lighter sentence.

“He was saying that he was there, but he was just doing his friend a favor by driving him to Foster City to drop him off. And then suddenly his friend came running back and threw some stuff at him, and that’s how he ended up with the list,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

“He did not participate in these burglaries. He’s a nice, decent individual who worked as a real estate agent and a waiter. He’s a fine Asian-American who comes from a proud family,” said Quigley, who insists that Bui was not aware of his friend’s intentions.

The string of heists in Foster City occurred on March 10, 2004. After two burglaries earlier in the day, Bui drove his friend, Hoa Trung Khuu, 33, to the 100 block of Williams Lane. The attempted burglary abruptly ended when a resident discovered Khuu trying to pry open a door as Bui sat in the car outside.

Khuu then ran back into Bui’s car as police arrived. Duringa police pursuit, the two fled from the car and ran in different directions. Bui was later found hiding in a backyard while Khuu temporarily eluded police by jumping into a lagoon — he was later found crouching in a garbage can in a backyard on Monterey Avenue, said Foster City police Cpt. Matt Martell.

“He couldn’t swim too far,” he recalled. “He probably swam 100 yards, a couple houses away, and then climbed out.”

Police found a list of houses in Bui’s possession. Prosecutors said the suspects may have targeted other homes.

Khuu was convicted in connection to the incident in November 2004 and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Bui maintained his innocence but was convicted in June after a nine-day trial.

bfoley@examiner.com

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