Woman Pleads No Contest, Gets Year in Jail for Stealing Shoes at Mall During Police Brutality Protests

By Tanya Decendario

SACRAMENTO – A woman, allegedly “looting” and stealing several pairs of shoes during police brutality demonstrations last June, was sentenced here in Sacramento County Superior Court this week to a year in jail for felony second degree burglary.

Mayra Aboytes pleaded no contest to the charge after police officers caught her stealing shoes at a Vans store, located at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights.

Deputies said they received reports of looting and destruction of property at Sunrise Mall, and witnessed a large crowd and arrested them one by one. Among the suspects was defendant Aboytes.

Judge Helena Gweon began the plea hearing by prompting Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jack to state the defendant’s plea deal and charges.

Defense Attorney Byron Roope interrupted to ask for the defendant to receive a time extension regarding signing up for the work project or ankle monitor, arguing, “She’s basically homeless right now. She’s looking for a permanent place and we need some time so she can get signed up for that ankle monitor. So were just gonna ask for sometime in April.”

Judge Gweon accepted PD’s request and altered the defendants turn in date to April 30.

The judge further inquired about the factual basis and the reason for the plea bargain. (factual basis is all the facts regarding the defendant’s case), and the DDA explained the defendant committed a felony “second degree burglary…while Sacramento county was in the state of emergency and a local emergency.

“Specifically, on June 1, 2020, officers responded to reports of looting at the Sunrise Mall…as the officers approached the entrance they observed that the front glass doors have been shattered and they located seven additional suspects inside the mall. One of those suspects was the defendant,” DDA Jack said.

At the time of the incident, the defendant was detained and, according to officers, admitted to entering the mall and stealing multiple pairs of shoes. The shoes were later recovered from the defendant’s vehicle.

The DDA added, “Surveillance also captured the defendant entering the mall.”

Judge Gweon explained, “I will sentence you to serve 364 days in the jail. However, you can apply to do that time through alternative sentencing which includes Sheriff’s Work Project or ankle monitor home detention. It’s up to the sheriff’s department whether they accept you or reject you. If you’re not accepted, then you will have to do it in jail.”

Defendant Aboytes asked, “It’s up to the Sheriff?’

Roope advised that “as long as you do what the Sheriff needs you to do, they will accept you on the program, certainly right now due to COVID,” referring to the overcrowded Sacramento County Jail with a current pandemic virus breakout.

The judge asked again, “But do you understand that if they did not accept you that you will have to do that time in jail?” Defendant Aboytes agreed, and plead no contest.

The defendant will be placed, after completing her sentence, on formal probation for a period of two years, subject to searches at any time without a warrant. She must pay fines, submit DNA samples, and be restricted from ever owning firearms.

In addition, she is advised to stay 100 yards from Sunrise Mall and the Target located at Riverside Blvd., Sacramento.

Tanya Decendario is a third-year student studying Legal Studies at UC Berkeley. She is originally from Sonoma, CA but currently resides in Albany, CA.

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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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