By Joshua Liang
Woodland – A preliminary examination was held to determine if there is enough evidence to bring Frank Lynn Creamer to trial over an alleged stolen car.
According to officer testimonies, the sleeping Mr. Creamer was happened upon by two Woodland PD officers while the defendant was in a black Honda Civic during the early hours of July 22, 2019. The car was reported stolen the previous day when its owners noticed it missing from their driveway. The keys to the car were not stolen, with the defendant allegedly having fashioned a picklock in the form of a shaved key, a term used by law enforcement to describe a key that has been molded into a shape which could theoretically fit a variety of car locks. Mr. Creamer is now facing charges of possession of burglary tools as well as theft, receiving or purchasing the stolen vehicle, resisting arrest, and possession of a controlled substance.
The examination started with the prosecution calling its first witness to the stand. James Olson, a Woodland Police officer of more than two years, responded to the prosecution’s question about his whereabouts during the night of July 22. Officer Olson stated that he had been on patrol and had not been aware of a stolen vehicle.
At approximately 4:40 in the morning, while on patrol, he responded to a call over the radio for backup at a curb on California Street. Officer Olson described two other Woodland PD officers forcibly restraining the defendant, pulling him out of the vehicle while his feet were still inside the driver’s seat of the Honda Civic.
“Can you point to Mr. Creamer in the courtroom today and describe what he is wearing?” the judge asked.
Officer Olson proceeded to point toward the defendant sitting in officially appointed blue and white garb.
The defending attorney proceeded to inquire about the condition of the actual vehicle upon inspection, asking if there had been any visible damage to the bumper, the steering wheel, or the ignition.
Officer Olson responded that there had indeed been visible spots of oxidized paint on the posterior of the vehicle but no other obvious signs of trauma to the car. Its conditions were eventually deemed to be “drivable.”
When asked about the general estimated price range for the vehicle, Officer Olson reported he had officially put $501 in his report.
When questioned on the price, Officer Olson stated that he had put in the car’s information onto the Kelley Blue Book website with the price of a Honda Civic coming in from $500 to $4000.
”So you put the estimate at five hundred and one dollars?” The police officer responded it was pending “further investigation.”
The court then called forth Corporal Richard Towle, a Woodland police officer of 14 years as well as a first responder to the incident in question. The prosecution began by questioning Towle about the location of the suspect in the vehicle at the time of the incident. Cpl. Towle replied that Mr. Creamer had been situated in the driver’s seat. Having been aware of reports of a stolen vehicle matching the same description only eight hours previously, the Woodland police officer had approached the vehicle.
“Was he the sole occupant of the vehicle?” Cpl. Towle responded with a yes.
When asked if he had any trouble getting the defendant out of the vehicle, the corporal replied that he had. Mr. Creamer was found to be in possession of a glass pipe that the officer had recognized from police academy training to be used for the inhalation of methamphetamine. When asked if it was found intact, Cpl. Towle replied that it had appeared to have been cracked.
The defendant had appeared to have been asleep and was jolted awake when Cpl. Towe opened the passenger side door to jerk him awake. The defendant argued that he had happened upon the vehicle by chance and had no previous contact with the Honda Civic before that night. Mr. Creamer then burrowed deeper into the darkness of the car, resulting in his having to be dragged out by force. During the confrontation, Cpl. Towle had been forced to deliver a kick to the defendant’s chest to properly subdue him.
The defending attorney then asked if the suspect had any scent of alcohol on his person at the time of the confrontation. Cpl. Towle had replied that there had been none. When Towle was asked if he had asked the suspect if he had consumed any alcohol, the officer replied that he did had not.
“No further questions, your Honor,” said the defense attorney.
The court ruled that there was evidence suggesting that a certain level of crime had been committed, citing charges such as possession of burglary tools, to be substantiated. The fact that the car the suspect was allegedly sleeping in had been reported stolen only eight hours previously laid the groundwork for circumstantial evidence.
The next court date for Frank Creamer has been scheduled on August 22, 2019.