$40 Liquor Store Theft with Gun Alleged; March Trial Now Upcoming

By Ramneet Singh

SACRAMENTO – Not a big “score” by any means, but a man who allegedly stole $40 in merchandise from a liquor store and then used a firearm to convince employees to not intervene, is now set for trial in March after his preliminary hearing here Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court Department 4.

On Oct. 5, 2020, defendant Anthony Lee Allen allegedly entered the Discount Liquor store at 7725 Stockton Boulevard, and acquired approximately $40 worth of merchandise, exiting the store without payment.

Two employees followed him out, one with a baseball bat; Allen pointed a gun at both and left the scene on a bicycle. On Oct. 14, Allen was apprehended.

Deputy Bret Uecker of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said his investigation revealed one of the employees asked the suspect to pay, and the suspect gestured toward his waistband and left the store. The employee believed the suspect to have a knife and thus confronted him outside with a bat.

In the confrontation, the employee stated that the suspect pulled out a gun and said “come on.”  Uecker confirmed the general sequence of events through surveillance and, after a question, noted that the employee looked “…taken aback, scared.”

After Assistant Public Defender Rodney Simpson objected to the vagueness of Deputy District Attorney Hilary Davisson’s question over whether the employee threatened the suspect with a bat, Davisson rephrased the question to refer to how the bat was held, but Uecker did not observe how the employee had held it.

Uecker could not specify distinctive features of the subject other than the color of the clothes he was wearing. He had contacted the second employee and, after Judge Steve White asked, clarified that the suspect pointed the gun at both individuals.

At various points, there was confusion about the names of the employees. Earlier, Simpson had objected and wanted to clarify that both the employees held the same last name.

In his questioning, Simpson focused on the employee’s behavior, with Uecker replying that the employee did not directly tell him that he was scared.

Regarding the confrontation, Simpson inquired about the use of the weapons. After Uecker refreshed his memory with his report, he responded that he did not witness the employee raising the bat in the video.

Deputy Uecker further clarified that the suspect pointed the gun at both employees. Subsequently, he noted that the employees “retreated” into the store from the video footage.

Simpson questioned this last point as being a “subjective interpretation” based on his “observations.”

Detective David Treat, who had followed up on the case, said he watched the surveillance footage, explained how the suspect appeared to shift his hand gun in the store.

Treat stated that as the employee with the bat left the store, he remarked how the bat is at “…a more horizontal plane…” He also described the employees had “retreated” into the store and that the employee did not threaten the suspect.

White overruled Simpson’s objection of the “subjective”  descriptions as the court was willing to consider his “perception.”

Treat said he tried to utilize facial recognition and still photos. He described the suspect to have various distinct tattoos. After making a crime bulletin and up until the defendant was captured, Treat received “…not less than 4 different responses from different deputies who recognized the defendant.”

Treat had matched aspects of the booking photos to the evidence he had complied. He proceeded to identify Mr. Allen in court.

“You indicated this morning and in your report that the firearm you saw Mr. Allen with in the liquor store was blue or had some blue on it, is that right?” said PD Simpson.

Treat specified this “blued firearm” referred to the “…staining of the metal…” and that it was black. Simpson insisted and focused on the use of the description of the firearm as blue.

Treat framed his use of the term blue through his “understanding.” Simpson counteracted this with the word used in the report and the testimony. At a certain point, Treat responded “…I’m not trying to be argumentative with you, sir.”

As the questioning continued, DDA Davisson objected that this was “…getting argumentative…” and that it was “…asked and answered.” Simpson directed his questions away from this point.

Regarding the capture, Simpson focused on the conversation between Treat and defendant Allen. Treat replied he had recorded some and that a vehicle camera may have captured it in full.

Simpson inquired about Treat’s use of the word “chased” that precluded the store confrontation. After Davisson asked about this point, Treat replied that Allen “…completely exits the store…” before the employee approached him. After Simpson asked about the other colors of the gun, Treat was relieved of providing further testimony.

Anthony Quintana of the Division of Adult Parole Operations testified, and put out a statement to “be aware” of Allen. One team member believed they recognized him around the area near the liquor store that he had allegedly robbed.

After Judge White reviewed the rap sheet, he noted “…the allegation of the previous felony conviction.”

Judge White found defendant Allen likely to have committed multiple counts of robbery, using a firearm, and a convicted felon in possession of firearm.

Allen pleaded not guilty. The trial is set for March 29 at 8:45 a.m. in Department 9.

Ramneet Singh is a third-year student at the University of California, Davis. He is a Political Science major and is pursuing a History minor. He is from Livingston, California.

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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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