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Police Files

Laguna male nanny charged with alleged child molestation and possession of child pornography

A man who served as a male nanny for families across Southern California, including in Laguna Beach, faces four felony child molestation charges for allegedly victimizing two young boys under his care. He is also charged with one felony count of possessing child pornography.

Matthew Antonio Zakrzewski, 30, of Costa Mesa, was arrested on May 17 by Laguna Beach Police Department detectives at a local airport after deplaning an international flight. 

Zakrzewski is charged with three felony counts of alleged lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, and one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10. He was also charged with one felony count of possession of child pornography.

If convicted, Zakrzewski could face 90 years to life in prison for victimizing children in his care.

Zakrzewski pled not guilty on Tuesday, May 21. He is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $1 million bail.

In early May, a Laguna Beach couple reported to LBPD that their babysitter, Zakrzewski, had touched their 8-year-old son inappropriately and they were concerned for the safety of their son and potentially other children. 

The couple hired Zakrzewski to care for their 8-year-old child through one of his several babysitting websites. LBPD’s Major Crimes & Intelligence Unit immediately opened an investigation, which led to the identification of a second 7-year-old victim in Los Angeles.

Police Files Matthew Zakrzewski

Courtesy of LBPD

Matthew Zakrzewski

On one of his professional websites, www.sitterbuddy.org, the suspect says, “I’m Matthew, the original Sitter Buddy! In the 8th grade I discovered what a joy it was to work with children and be a positive impact in their lives through my school’s ‘Buddy Program.’ Now, I am a full-service TrustLine Certified provider of regular & on-demand child care, as well as mentoring services for children.”

Zakrzewski’s www.matthewthemanny.com website is similar. He calls himself “a Professional Manny & Sitter/Buddy” as well as a “babysitter, big brother, role model and mentor.” His services include “regular care, overnights, travel care, mentoring, and occasional.” Dozens of videos and pictures of Zakrzewski interacting with children fill his online galleries.

LBPD is asking for the public’s help in locating any other potential victims. Anyone who has information related to this investigation or any other unreported incidents involving Zakrzewski is urged to call the Investigations Division line at (949) 715-1300.

“This investigation could last several months and that is fine with us. We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that Mr. Zakrzewski remains in custody for a long time,” Sgt Cota said. “We will continue to pursue every lead we receive till we feel this investigation is exhausted and all children he had contact with are safe.”

Zakrzewski is scheduled to appear at the Harbor Justice Center, Department H1 at 8:30 a.m. on May 31. Senior Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

Guns drawn at Mozambique over stolen Range Rover

On Monday, May 20, at 2:44 p.m., LBPD officers were advised of a stolen vehicle from the city of Escondido. The vehicle, a 2019 black Range Rover, was located parked in the Mozambique parking lot. 

“Officers positioned their police vehicles away from the restaurant and a plain clothes detective walked into the restaurant and contacted the manager so he could review security video to identify who had exited the vehicle,” Sgt Cota said.

 “While inside and without looking at the video, he identified two subjects who may have driven the vehicle. As the two subjects exited the restaurant, an officer watched them approach and then enter the vehicle,” Sgt Cota said. 

Guns were drawn and officers converged on the vehicle to prevent the vehicle from leaving the lot. The driver and passenger were detained. According to Sgt Cota, the driver lied about his name and was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle. The passenger was arrested for an outstanding drug and theft warrant out of San Bernardino. 

“At the station, their fingerprints provided officers with the driver’s true name and revealed he had an outstanding no-bail warrant,” Sgt Cota said.

Guillermo Sandoval, 32, of South Gate, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, false impersonation, and on an outstanding felony warrant. No bail was set.

Celeste Ann Hernandez, 38, of Los Angeles, was arrested on an outstanding drug and theft warrant. Bail was set at $25,000.

Two vehicles stolen off Laguna streets

On Monday, May 20, a local man parked and locked his vehicle, a 2005 black Toyota Prius, in the 300 block of Popular Street. The next day, on Tuesday, he returned and the vehicle was gone. A report was taken.

During the same time period, on Tuesday, May 21, at 11:14 a.m., the owner of a silver Mercedes Benz CLS 500 reported that his vehicle was stolen from the 700 block of Summit Way. The theft occurred between 9 p.m. the previous night and just prior to the time of the call.

According to police records, the RP said the suspect is unknown.

Driver runs red light causing multi-collision accident, luckily, only minor injuries reported

On Tuesday, May 21, at 10:31 a.m., a FedEx van and another vehicle were traveling northbound on the 73 Toll Road off-ramp at El Toro Road. The light was green and they proceeded into the intersection. 

“The driver of a vehicle traveling westbound on El Toro Road failed to see the westbound light was red and entered the intersection. The van struck the westbound vehicle at the driver’s door,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The impact spun the westbound vehicle causing it to strike a light pole and come to rest against the curb. The vehicle next to the FedEx van struck the left rear side of the van causing additional minor damage.” 

The driver of the westbound vehicle was transported with minor injuries. The other two drivers were uninjured.

An arrest or indictment contains allegations that a suspect or defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison