Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Castro car thief found sleeping in stolen Prius

A Toyota Prius. Photo: Toyota.

A Toyota Prius. Photo: Toyota.

San Francisco police arrested a man with a decades-long criminal history Wednesday after finding him asleep in the Prius he’d allegedly stolen in the Castro district.

A man had parked the car in front of his house at Diamond and 18th streets Tuesday and gone to bed, according to police Captain Simon Silverman, who heads Richmond Station, the district where the car was located.

Wednesday morning, an app notified the car’s owner that “his car had been driven around over night,” Silverman said in the latest Richmond Station newsletter. “He tracked the car to El Camino Del Mar and 25th Avenue and called the SFPD. The responding officer found the suspect asleep in the car” at 8:30 a.m. “and arrested him.” The suspect’s name hasn’t been released.

Silverman said the district attorney’s office dismissed the charges against the suspect “and instead filed a motion to revoke his probation.”

The man had been placed on three years probation in June 2013 “for possession of stolen property,” according to Silverman. “He has been arrested over a dozen times since being placed on that probation. He has an extensive arrest record dating back to 1987 with charges including grand theft, robbery, burglary, vehicle tampering, and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age.”

In his summary of the case, Silverman said, “The stereotypical car thief is often caught taking the stolen car on a wild ride, hence the popular bumper sticker ‘Drive it like you stole it.’ It would appear however, that Prius thieves, like their car of choice, are a more sedate sort … or maybe not … .”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, February 26, 2016 @ 5:06 pm PST
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