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The People v. Thomas John Collins

December 20, 2010

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
THOMAS JOHN COLLINS, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Leo Valentine, Jr., Judge. Affirmed. (Super. Ct. No. SCD218403)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: McDONALD, J.

P. v. Collins

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL REPORTS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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A jury convicted Thomas Collins of one count of petty theft (Pen. Code, § 484),*fn1 and Collins admitted the special allegation that he had a prior theft conviction within the meaning of section 666. He also admitted he had two "prison priors" within the meaning of sections 667.5, subdivision (b), and 668. The court sentenced Collins to two years in prison. On appeal Collins argues the prosecutor committed "Griffin"*fn2 error and the error was prejudicial.

FACTS

On January 23, 2009, Mr. Brown and Mr. Laramie, employed by a Target store as loss prevention employees, were at work and observed Collins pushing a shopping cart inside the store. Collins's jacket was draped over the cart, and a flashlight (in its packaging) was on the jacket. They saw him enter the electronics department, where he picked up an MP3 player and a wireless router, placing both on his jacket with the flashlight.

Collins wheeled his cart to the counter of the electronics department, where he asked a sales representative some questions. When Collins finished, he left the counter, returned the router to the shelves, and pushed his cart away from the electronics department into a quieter part of the store where there was less foot traffic. Once there, he looked around and hid the flashlight and MP3player under his jacket.

Collins then pushed the cart around the store before he proceeded with the cart to a drinking fountain near the front of the store, where he brushed his teeth. He then pushed the cart toward the doors, but instead of leaving through one of the two exit doors, he tried to leave through an entrance door. When Collins got past the first set of entrance doors, the loss prevention employees apprehended him. The employees called the police.

Police arrived and arrested and searched Collins. They determined he was not carrying any money, checks, credit cards or driver's license with him.

ANALYSIS

Collins asserts the prosecutor committed Griffin error by "indirectly" commenting on ...


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