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In re Alonzo M.

California Court of Appeals, First District, Fourth Division

September 20, 2019

In re ALONZO M., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,
ALONZO M., Defendant and Appellant.

          Contra Costa County Superior Court, No. J1800474, Hon. Rebecca C. Hardie, Trial Judge:

          Counsel for Appellant: Violet Elizabeth Grayson, by Court-Appointment under the First District Appellate Project’s Independent Case System

          Counsel for Respondents: Xavier Becerra, Attorney General; Gerald A. Engler, Chief Assistant Attorney General; Jeffrey M. Laurence, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Eric D. Share, Supervising Deputy Attorney General; Ronald E. Niver, Deputy Attorney General

         Alonzo M. appeals a July 2018 disposition order declaring him a ward of the juvenile court and placing him on probation subject to terms and conditions. (See Welf. & Inst. Code, § 602, subd. (a).) In particular, Alonzo challenges a condition of his probation that permits searches of his electronic devices. Although we find no abuse of discretion in the juvenile court’s decision to impose an electronic search condition, we find the condition imposed here sweeps too broadly, and so remand for the juvenile court to consider imposing a narrower search condition.

          TUCHER, J.


         I. The April 2018 Crime Spree

         On the morning of April 19, 2018, San Pablo police responded to a report of an early morning robbery in the parking lot of the Lytton Casino. The victim stated that the driver-side window of her Mercedes-Benz C300 had been smashed, somebody rummaged through her belongings and her Apple iPad Air was missing. While officers were taking the report, two other victims came forward. The second victim reported that someone broke the driver-side window of his Dodge Ram and took his stainless-steel pressure cooker. The third victim reported that someone broke the driver-side window of his Mercedes-Benz E320 and took his black iPhone charger. Casino staff located three other vehicles with broken windows. Surveillance video showed a black Jetta pulling into the parking lot, and three suspects who exited the vehicle and looked into cars with flashlights. One suspect could be seen reaching into the window of a Toyota Rav-4.

         Later that day, shortly before 10:00 p.m., a San Leandro Police officer noticed a black Jetta occupied by three males in a FoodMaxx parking lot. The officer did a records check, which revealed that the Jetta had been flagged for its possible involvement in the six auto burglaries committed in San Pablo earlier that day. The officer parked about 15 feet behind the Jetta and called for backup. While he was waiting, the driver of a Honda pickup truck parked one aisle away from the Jetta. After that driver went into the FoodMaxx, the Jetta moved through the parking lot and parked next to the passenger side of the Honda pickup. Alonzo got out of the Jetta and was standing next to the truck when the officer heard a pop and saw glass fall around Alonzo’s feet. The officer used his car to block the Jetta from moving. When back-up arrived, Alonzo and two other occupants of the Jetta were taken into custody.

         In the Jetta, police found a purse that matched the description of a purse belonging to the victim of a nearby robbery. The victim had reported that after shopping at the 99 Cent Store she was placing items in her trunk when she noticed a black vehicle pull up in front of her car. She sensed something was wrong and went to get in her car, but just as she sat in the driver’s seat, a person grabbed her left arm, dragged her out of her car, and forcefully pulled her purse off her shoulder.

         Other items found in the Jetta included: a black window punch; two flashlights; a set of keys for miscellaneous vehicles, including a Chevrolet, Lexus and Dodge; and two iPhones, one which had a picture of Alonzo on the screen. Police also found a grey bag containing a laptop, a driver’s license and credit cards, which belonged to the victim of another purse snatch that had been committed in Hayward earlier that day.

         The two individuals who were arrested along with Alonzo declined to talk with police. Alonzo reported that one of the others committed the purse snatches, but he admitted that he broke into the Honda pickup. Alonzo also admitted that he and the others agreed to split the money from their crime spree.

         II. The Petitions

         On April 23, 2018, the Alameda County District Attorney filed a wardship petition alleging that 17-year-old Alonzo committed three felonies in San Leandro: second degree robbery (Pen. Code § 211)[1]; second degree burglary (§ 459); and receiving stolen property (§ 496, subd. (a)). Alonzo was detained pending a hearing. The probation department contacted Alonzo’s mother (Mother), who reported that Alonzo was respectful at home and had no behavior problems. However, the past six months had been a tumultuous period and a struggle for Alonzo because his father was suffering from a mental illness and Alonzo had been helping to care for him.

         At the detention hearing, Alonzo admitted an amended allegation that he committed grand theft of a person, taking property valued at more than $950 (Pen. Code § 487, subd. (c)). In exchange for his admission, the court dismissed the other two charges alleged in the petition. The probation department (the department) recommended that Alonzo remain in detention pending disposition and the People concurred. However, the court ordered that Alonzo was to be placed on GPS monitoring and released to the custody of Mother. The court also found that Alonzo’s legal residence was the home of Mother, who was living in Antioch, and ordered that Alonzo’s case be transferred to Contra Costa County for disposition.

         On May 8, 2018, the Contra Costa County juvenile court accepted transfer of Alonzo’s case. The court ordered Alonzo to remain on GPS monitoring pending disposition due to the serious nature of the charges and the fact that his school records showed significant absences. The court further ordered that Alonzo was to have no contact with his “co-responsibles,” either directly or indirectly through a third party or electronically.

         On May 22, 2018, the Contra Costa County District Attorney filed a supplemental petition alleging that Alonzo committed three additional felonies in San Pablo during the morning of the April 2018 crime spree. Each new charge was based on allegations that Alonzo committed second degree ...

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