By Veronica Miller
WOODLAND, CA- Within only a few months, Charles Williams had stolen from the Target located in Davis, CA, a total of 13 times.
From the retelling of the instances from three separate Asset Protection members, the merchandise that Williams had taken totaled was well over $1000—including a range of items such as backpacks, electronics, clothing, and food.
From the accounts of the three separate witnesses, Williams would often enter the store on consecutive days and take one of the motorized carts in which he would hide items while going through self-checkout where he would scan one or two things.
During the preliminary hearing, public defender James Bradford pushed for the value of the items stolen to be reevaluated. Bradford explained that the actual value needs to be proved for the court to move forward with a felony charge.
Bradford also wanted the charge to be reconsidered because he believed that there was no evidence of a grander scheme between the 13 different times of theft.
In an attempt to explain his clients’ situation, Branford gave the example of stealing parts of a washing machine on separate occasions to build a washing machine that the person might need.
Judge Peter M. Williams interrupted Branford to state that Williams being homeless would be the commonality to a grander scheme, especially since Williams has committed these thefts frequently to get essential items that a person needs.
Judge Williams also addressed the questioning of the amount that Williams had stolen by showing that he had done his calculations during the hearing and found a number that exceeded the minimum amount needed to charge for a felony.
In an attempt to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor, Bradford stated, “Mr. Williams is a transient, he has been since the beginning of the pandemic when he was evicted. He has recovered from Covid and has had to deal with many family members who have.
“He has been as diligent as he can be, given his living situation and transportation about trying to appear in court. This is the sixth or seventh time we’ve tried to get this preliminary hearing going,” continued Bradford.
The deputy district attorney explained that, due to his previous felony convictions for theft, a reduction to a misdemeanor should not be possible.