SAN JOSE – Justin Daniel Sweet, 21, was arraigned on a felony theft charge under PC496 d, and 496 (a). A plea hearing has been set for July 31, 2013 at 9:00 am in Dept 38.
Sweet is a known transient who has been living in the San Jose area. On April 17, 2013 Sweet with a juvenile accomplice had taken a 1992 silver Nissan Pickup truck.
The owner at the time wanted to report the truck stolen. However, he felt he did not have the proper paper work to file the report, it was then the vehicle remained unidentified as stolen. It seemed to have remained that way until Sweet and his accomplice was seen dismantling the vehicle.
A witness near the scene called the Santa Clara police to report a vehicle that was being stripped in the back parking lot of TJ Maxx clothing and house wares store.
The Santa Clara Police Department responded to the call, and took the two males at the scene into custody. Officers arriving on the scene were able to see a Silver Nissan Pickup that had been placed up on four concrete blocks, with all four tires removed.
A red 1991 red Honda belonging to Sweet was also parked next to the vehicle with all four tires placed inside the car.
Responding investigators believe that the duo had driven from Sunnyvale through Santa Clara and into San Jose looking for more Nissan vehicles.
During an initial interview with investigating officers, Sweet denied taking the Pickup and had stated he had had permission to remove the wheels. Sweet was evasive towards questioning officers and refused to say why he targeted the vehicle.
The juvenile suspect had recanted his story and said, “They had gone together and had seen the silver pick-up, and broken in through the rear cab window.” They had both pulled on the back window until it had broke.
The suspect said, “Sweet had unlocked the driver side door and used a broken spoon to start the ignition.” The juvenile was later found to have the broken spoon and broken Nissan ignition key in his possession.
The owner of the Pickup truck told police that they had taken a black jacket, as well as stripped out his speakers and radio. The victim identified several tools estimated at about $700. All of the missing items were located inside the red Honda owned by Sweet.
Sweet and his accomplice were then booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail without incident.