By Srimathi Kannan
WOODLAND, CA – A jury here late last week in Yolo County Superior Court, after several days of deliberating, acquitted a man facing felony bike theft charges.
The man—who won’t be identified by the Vanguard because he was found not guilty—was charged with felony grand theft under Penal Code section 484 (a).
He’s been in county jail with bail up to $10,000 for nearly six months because Yolo County judges refused to allow him to be out of custody while facing a bike theft charge, not a violent crime. He’s now free.
When talking with police, he said the bike was a gift from his mom’s friend. Prosecutors claimed this case also connects to another case the defendant was involved in, regarding stealing a skating board in Vacaville.
Most bicycles cost much less than the $1,785 police claim the stolen bike was worth.
The defense attorney claimed that the property was abandoned because it never had a chain or lock and the tires were not inflated so it seems that it was abandoned, and under the property law it is not stealing if the real property owner abandons it.
The defense also claimed that the value of the bike—part of an undercover bike theft police operation—was inflated so that it would be considered a felony, not a simple misdemeanor.
The defense insisted the accused believed that the property was abandoned, but the prosecution noted the accused “lied” to police at first and since he was allegedly involved in the Vacaville theft of a skateboard, he must be guilty.