Woman who robbed expectant mother, stole police car pleads guilty

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SAN DIEGO — A 25-year-old woman who took part in the robbery of a pregnant woman in the victim’s Pacific Beach apartment before stealing a San Diego police vehicle and driving it into the water at Fiesta Island pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges, including “hot prowl” burglary and false imprisonment.

Stephanie Majsterski, who also admitted charges of auto theft of a police car and resisting an executive officer, faces five years in state prison when she is sentenced Sept. 28.

Carolina Souza testified during a preliminary hearing in April that two people — identified later as Majsterski and James Graham — came into her residence on Pacific Beach Drive about 9 p.m. last Dec. 14.

Souza said Graham appeared to be concealing a knife as he approached her and demanded money and her car, while Majsterski blocked the door.

When Souza told Graham she didn’t have any money, he grabbed a wallet, laptop computer and some other items off the table and left with Majsterski, the victim testified.

As he fled, Graham told Souza to wait in the apartment for 20 seconds before going outside, she said.

“I was terrified,” Souza said. “I didn’t want to leave the apartment. I didn’t know where they were.”

Authorities said no knife was found.

San Diego police Officer Alfredo Nafarrete said he left the keys in his cruiser while he and his partner chased Graham and Majsterski on foot, but the SUV was gone when he came back. Graham was arrested but Majsterski remained at large.

Rafael Mendoza said he was on a date with his then-girlfriend on Fiesta Island when a police cruiser drove past them and into the water. The witness said he looked at Majsterski after she crashed into the water, and she took off running. She was arrested a short time later as she tried to sneak off the island as a passenger in another car.

Graham, 41, who has 10 robbery convictions dating back to 2008, was on parole at the time of the Pacific Beach robbery and faces more than 55 years to life in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Lucy Yturralde.

His trial is scheduled for Dec. 4.

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