By Linh Nguyen
WOODLAND – A Woodland man was accused of the vandalism and burglary of a RE/MAX Gold storage shed.
On Feb. 7, 2020, the defendant, Adelberto Montoya, allegedly broke into RE/MAX Gold’s storage shed in Woodland, damaging the door lock and the door frame. Nothing, however, was stolen. In his preliminary hearing, Montoya faced two counts: a felony vandalism charge and second-degree burglary.
An administrator for the business, E.S., testified for the prosecution on what she witnessed on the security video.
The security footage documented the crime that occurred between 4 am and 5 am. The witness identified the defendant as the individual portrayed in the video. There was no one else in the footage.
According to E.S., in the morning hours of Feb. 7, 2020, someone broke into the storage room of RE/MAX Gold, where the business stored for-sale signs and other business-related items that were not used often. The defendant was allegedly in the storage shed for two to three minutes.
Nothing inside the storage shed was stolen, however, the door lock and the door frame were damaged and required replacement, costing $483.60, including $240 for labor costs.
The prosecution then called Officer Gina Bell, a peace officer for the Woodland Police Department. Officer Bell works with the Homeless Outreach Street Team.
In her brief testimony, Officer Bell confirmed that the defendant was the individual in the video. She was confident because she recognized him as one of the homeless people she has had contact with in the past.
In the closing arguments, the defense argued that the felony vandalism charge should be reduced to a misdemeanor because the labor cost should not be calculated into the damage cost, therefore not meeting the $400 threshold to be considered a felony.
Furthermore, the defense also argued that the second-degree burglary charge should also be reduced to a misdemeanor because nothing was stolen. In addition, the items stored in the storage shed were unique to the business and essentially do not have market value.
The court ruled that there is sufficient evidence for the defendant to answer for the felony charge. The second-degree burglary charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Upon the court’s decision, the defense requested that Montoya be placed on supervised OR. However, the court denied this request due to the defendant’s recent criminal history.
Arraignment and a preliminary hearing for Montoya’s other case are scheduled for Mar. 26, 2020, at 10 am.
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