Two California men who reportedly have extensive records have been accused of teaming up in a series of thefts. After befriending each other in jail, the 35-year-old man and 37-year-old man were both released at the same time Sept. 25. Within hours of their release, authorities say, the men ended up being booked at Orange County Jail for alleged auto theft and attempting to rob a police officer. According to reports, intoxication may have been a factor in the alleged crimes.
Police say the two men went drinking together after being released from jail at approximately 7:20 p.m. Afterwards, they allegedly stole a 1994 Ford van and drove it to a parking lot used by police. The two are then accused of stealing items from the vehicle of a Santa Ana city employee. When an off-duty plainclothes police officer entered the lot, the 35-year-old man is accused of trying to steal the cellphone he was speaking on.
During the incident, the off-duty police officer is reported to have defended himself before taking both men into custody. According to a member of the Santa Ana Police Department, driving a stolen vehicle to a police parking lot to commit robbery is "bizarre." The parking lot is located between the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the Santa Ana Police Department.
The fact that the two men have long arrest records does not imply their guilt in these alleged crimes. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to help them with their defense. The lawyer may argue that there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate their guilt based on one person's account, or he or she may examine the case for possible mitigating circumstances to try to lower or reduce the charges the men face.
Source: KABC, "2 men back behind bars hours after release, accused of theft, robbery", September 27, 2013