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In Re V.S., A Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. v. V.S

December 1, 2010

IN RE V.S., A PERSON COMING UNDER THE JUVENILE COURT LAW. THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
V.S., DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Amalia L. Meza and George W. Clark, Judges. (Super. Ct. No. J223-384)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Huffman, Acting P. J.

In re V.S.

CA4/1

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Reversed with directions.

Following an adjudication hearing, the juvenile court made a true finding that V.S. (the minor) knowingly received or withheld stolen property (Pen. Code,*fn1 § 496, subd. (a)). The court denied the minor's request to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor and placed the minor on probation.

The minor appeals contending there is insufficient evidence to support the true finding and that the court abused its discretion in denying his request to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor. We will find the evidence insufficient to support the true finding. In light of that conclusion it is not necessary to address the remaining contention.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

V.S. was originally charged with vandalism with damage under $400 (§ 594, subds. (a) and (b)(2)(A), count 1), throwing a substance at a vehicle on a highway (Veh. Code, § 23110, subd. (a), count 2), and knowingly receiving or withholding stolen property (§ 496, subd. (a), count 3). After the presentation of the prosecution's case at the adjudication hearing, the court dismissed counts 1 and 2 for lack of sufficient evidence.*fn2 The court made a true finding on count 3.

The charge of violating section 496, subdivision (a), arose from the theft of a bicycle belonging to Bryan Sanchez. The theft took place at around 11:00 p.m. on July 5, 2009 at a Walgreen's store in the city of Chula Vista. Sanchez had parked his bicycle outside the store. After a few minutes he observed someone wearing a white or grey shirt take the bike. When he next observed the bike he thought there may have been three people then around the bike.

Sanchez stopped Chula Vista Police Officer Steve Szymczak and reported the theft of his bike. Not long after he contacted the officer, Sanchez was notified that police had likely found the bike. Sanchez and his mother returned to the area where the police were located.

Sanchez identified the bike as his. He also stated that the person with the white shirt was probably the one he had seen taking the bike. Sanchez did not identify V.S. as the thief.

Szymczak testified that after his contact with Sanchez he encountered three boys with a bike that matched the description of the one stolen from Sanchez. One boy was riding the bike and another was seated on the handlebars. V.S. was riding a skateboard ...


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