DESERT HOT SPRINGS – A man who was charged with appropriating $2,500 worth of lost meat was found not guilty by a jury of peers.
On December 28 of this year, a Lobster Shanty delivery truck lost a refrigerator unit filled with meat and seafood. The driver was searching for the address of a customer in the 19-500 block of Merganzer Road in Desert Hot Springs when the unit dislodged and fell off the back of the truck. The driver returned the next day and located the still-locked unit, but several hours later when he return with a tow truck, the locks had been cut and the refrigerator was empty.
The locker of meat had been left on the property of George Mader, 68 who later told Sheriff’s deputies that his 14-year-old grandson had discovered the unit and used a golf cart to transport it inside the house. Mader stated in a declaration that he believed that the unit had been abandoned on his property. However, the prosecution’s trial brief reported that Mader yelled at the truck driver when he tried to retrieve the freezer.
Mader told deputies that he had taken the meat to the Veteran’s Foreign Wars post where he was the commander. Mader also stated that he was planning on using the illicit meat to raise money for veterans. Authorities discovered the meat in question within the VFW post’s freezers. Details remained muddy however, as the lost refrigerator unit was marked with the company’s name as well as the owner’s name and a phone number. Mader was also reportedly friends with the driver who lost the goods.
The trial lasted one day. On Wednesday, November 5, the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty, clearing Mader of all charges.
Desert Sun: Jury acquits George Mader in meat theft case