by David Greenwald
A man in Yolo County is potentially facing life in prison as a result of charges for residential burglary and possession of stolen property – even though by all accounts the crime took place in San Francisco, not Yolo County.
The main charges are residential burglary in an inhabited dwelling and vehicle theft. It is a life case due to a whole host of priors.
The question is how 28-year-old Alex Mascoe ended up in the Yolo County system in the first place. According to UC Davis police reports, an officer was working patrol when he got a report of a suspicious vehicle stopped at the side of Hutchison and Highway 113.
When the officer ran the plate, dispatch told him the car was in the system as stolen. At this point, the car started to drive away and tried to drive onto the southbound on-ramp to Highway 113. The officer turned on his lights and the car complied.
The officer writes, “I conducted a high-risk felony stop and took Mascoe into custody without incident.”
Another officer notes: “I arrested and handcuffed Mascoe and placed him in the back of my vehicle. Mascoe stated he was on parole.”
In communication with SFPD, UC Davis police sent a picture of the keys recovered with the vehicle and the police sergeant in San Francisco “later confirmed that the keys belonged to the victim and had been taken during a burglary.”
The sergeant asked that “chain of custody be maintained” and “he would have SFPD Sgt. Alex Rodates pick up the keys on Monday (1/6/20).”
The vehicle would then be towed to the SFPD impound yard in San Francisco.
The incident would probably not be notable except for two factors. First, that Mr. Mascoe, with priors and parole holds, is now facing life in prison for at most stealing a vehicle.
Second, the incident occurred in San Francisco. It was reported stolen that day, January 4, around 2 am and apparently taken from a residence.
The San Francisco Police report indicated shattered glass window at a San Francisco residence. The owner informed the SF officer that “she parked her Toyota across the street on the east curb next to the northwest side of Dianne Feinstein Elementary School. Officer Lee checked the area and confirmed the Toyota was no longer where (the victim) last parked the vehicle at approximately 2000 hours on 01/03/2020.
The victim “stated she left her vehicle locked with the windows rolled up and did not give anyone permission to drive the vehicle.”
The officer writes: “I determined the suspect broke the glass panel to the front door and was able to unlock the door from the outside. The suspect entered the home through the front door, then forced open, breaking down the hallway door that leads to the living room. The suspect stole the vehicle and house keys which were placed on the living room table. The suspect then fled the residence leaving through the front door where they originally entered. The suspect then located the Toyota then fled in the vehicle in an unknown direction.”
It appears that the only connection to Yolo County is that Mr. Mascoe pulled off the freeway briefly at UC Davis. Police reports noted that it was SFPD that had “impounded the Toyota to be returned to their city” and “they had requested the keys be held as evidence.” The keys were collected and “placed in evidence per the request from SFPD.”
There are questions about his mental condition.
One of the police reports indicates that when a witness passed the Toyota SUV parked on the side of the road on Hutchison Drive, “they saw a man inside who was ‘flailing’ his arms around and appeared to be talking himself.”
When they “flipped around and passed by again, seeing that he was still waving his arms and talking to himself,” they decided to call the police.
A second witness saw the Toyota parked along the road. They slowed and pulled alongside and “she saw activity inside.” She saw “a man waving his arms around and his mouth was moving as if he was talking to someone.” However, “there was no one else in the car.”
The witness said “her first thought was that he was ‘punching someone’ but they noticed there was no one else in the car.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting