Preliminary Hearing for Man Accused of Stealing His Friend’s Vehicle

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By Julia Martinez

A man was accused of stealing his friend’s vehicle after being released from incarceration, whereas DMV documents show the owner of the vehicle allegedly agreed to sell it to him.

Bruce Carpenter is being charged with one felony count of theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle.

The first witness introduced by the prosecution was police officer Raymond Barrantes. Barrantes testified that Mr. Carpenter and the alleged victim were incarcerated together and that the victim reported his vehicle stolen after he was released.

Mr. Carpenter allegedly wrote the victim two letters regarding the vehicle in question, a truck, informing him he was going to get it when he got released.

Barrantes explained that there were DMV documents, including a bill of sale in progress, beginning the registration of the truck to Mr. Carpenter on the date of his release.

In the defense’s cross-examination, they provided three DMV documents: the bill of sale, a pending master file, and a receipt for the repairs to the vehicle made by Mr. Carpenter. Mr. Barrantes confirmed the bill of sale document was signed by the alleged victim, had his date of birth and social security number, and two witness signatures.

Before the alleged victim had reported the vehicle stolen, the victim’s father also allegedly never gave Mr. Carpenter permission to take the vehicle.

Barrantes confirmed that the victim did not tell his father that Mr. Carpenter paid him for the vehicle.

The second witness introduced by the prosecution was Deputy Matthew Milliron. Milliron testified that, after receiving the report of a stolen vehicle, he checked the area for the described vehicle and found it with Mr. Carpenter sleeping inside.

Milliron testified that Mr. Carpenter directed him to the registration documents, the same ones provided by the defense, inside of the vehicle. He also stated Mr. Carpenter had the keys to the vehicle.

During the cross-examination, the deputy explained that he was aware Mr. Carpenter went to a Davis police officer before the incident to inform them that he believed the alleged victim was going to try to accuse him of this crime.

Milliron stated it appeared Mr. Carpenter was living out of this vehicle.

The preliminary hearing ended with the prosecutor arguing that the date of birth of the alleged victim on the bill of sale document had similar handwriting to Mr. Carpenter’s.

The defense argued that Mr. Carpenter would not have written the letter informing the alleged victim that he was going to take the vehicle if he was planning to steal it. They also argued that Mr. Carpenter did everything right with all of the proper documents and that he went to law enforcement beforehand.

The court ruled there was sufficient evidence to take the case to trial and hear from the witnesses involved. The arraignment is to be held on February 18.


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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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