Utah man burned woman's arm while she slept, police say

Posted at 1:26 PM, Jul 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-03 16:37:04-04

MIDVALE, Utah — A man was arrested early Saturday morning after police say video showed him burning a woman's arms multiple times while she slept in a Midvale home.

According to the probable cause statement, Matthew Thomas arrived at the home around 7 p.m. without permission before going into a bedroom where the female victim was sleeping.

Thomas is seen on surveillance video attempting to wake the woman by shaking her, but the victim later said she is a heavy sleeper due to taking various types of medication. As the woman remains asleep, Thomas rummaged through her purse for approximately 12 minutes, stopping "periodically" to wake her.

After going through the victim's purse, Thomas then takes a lighter and burns her left arm multiple times with an open flame or by pressing the heated cap against her skin.

Shortly after, the woman's spouse arrived at the house and saw Thomas shaking the victim. When the woman finally awoke, Thomas left the house. The victim and her spouse reviewed the surveillance video from the bedroom, then noticed money and 10 oxycodone pills were missing from the purse Thomas was seen going through.

When officers examined the woman's arm, the burn marks were already starting to blister.

Police located Thomas and placed him under arrest. When he was informed of the charges, Thomas refuted the allegations and said he thought he was told to come in the house when someone inside was actually yelling at a dog.

Thomas said he tried to wake the woman because "he was concerned she had overdosed," and only took Advil or Aleve from the purse without permission.

Thomas faces charges of burglary, theft, assault and possession of a controlled substance after heroin was found in his pocket.