By Matthew Torres
WOODLAND, CA – The preliminary hearing for Deshawn Dewitt and Anaya Anderson was in Yolo County Superior Court Thursday—both are charged with felony burglary in the second degree, grand theft, and conspiracy. Additionally, Dewitt is receiving an evading a peace officer charge.
The officer called to the scene of the alleged crime, a Rite Aid, said the manager claimed to see the accused walking directly to the makeup aisle and placing merchandise in their purses before exiting the store and driving away in a white BMW.
There was a high-speed chase on the I-5 going toward Sacramento, where their vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic before they were pulled over, according to the officer.
Although the merchandise was returned and inventoried, the officers tallied the merchandise together rather than separately. This step does not allow a specific price range of merchandise in each individual bag, something Rodney J. Beede, private defense counsel, noted.
Beede used this point to urge the charges for his client be reduced to misdemeanors, stating, “there’s no way to determine how much of that property was in Anderson’s bag or what that was worth. So it’s very likely that the value of what she had in her purse is less than $950.”
Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira, representing Dewitt, argued dropping the conspiracy charge, noting that “there’s no evidence to show that either charged client had an individual intent to commit a theft on their own. Doesn’t the law require some evidence that there was an agreement to conspire together to commit a theft?”
Deputy District Attorney Jose Gustavo Figueroa rebutted these claims, claiming the amount stolen was over the felony threshold ($950) and this was organized retail theft, something that has been plaguing the state.
He supported that contention by noting how the defendants entered the store together, stole together at the same time, then fled together to Sacramento as being sufficient evidence to hold a conspiracy charge.