Juan (not his real name) Martinez said he parked his truck in the 200 block of Nettleton Road, Vista on a Friday night, June 8, 2018. “Because I am a musician and I play, and I was playing there that night, at an apartment.”
When he testified two weeks later, Martinez said, “Yes, I locked it.” He was confident that his truck was secured, “Because I always lock it.”
Martinez was surprised when he went back to his vehicle about 2:30 a.m. “When I came back, there were some people inside the truck. There were three. It was one man and two women.”
“I told them to get out, what were they doing there?” As soon as they got out, “I looked for my wallet.” He kept it in the center console. “And I noticed it wasn’t there, and at that moment I said, 'Hey give me my wallet, before you leave.'”
“And at that moment he answered aggressively, 'I don’t have it.'” Martinez said his ID, his license, his credit card and “my papers” were in that wallet.
“He said, 'Search me.'” But the alleged victim didn’t want to get any closer. “Because I didn’t want to have any problems.”
“I told them I was with my girlfriend, and I told them to give me my wallet, and he started to insult my friends.” Fortunately, Martinez was not alone. “And my friends were there.”
The man did not hand over the wallet. “But he would get closer and he would say, 'Search me.'” Martinez opined, “And you could tell that he was weird, I don’t know if he had been drinking or drugs or what.”
The unidentified women did not participate in the back-and-forth, “He was the one who was answering, he was the one who was being aggressive.”
Martinez said he did not understand everything the stranger said to him, “because I do not speak a lot of English.” The alleged victim testified on June 25 with aid of a Spanish speaking interpreter.
When Martinez said he was going to call police the strangers walked away. Then Martinez found his wallet in pieces on the other side of his truck. “Everything was thrown around there.”
A Sheriff’s deputy testified that he arrived between 2:30 to 3 a.m. Saturday, June 9, 2018. Officers found a suspect about a half-mile away; officers organized a “curb-side line-up” and witnesses ID’d him as the rude stranger.
On June 25, German Jose Rodriguez, 19, pleaded not-guilty to second degree burglary, as a felony.
Honorable judge Blaine Bowman noticed that Rodriguez was out on felony probation for another second degree burglary from January of this year, when the new offense allegedly occurred. Rodriguez is also on probation for two other cases: one theft and one hit-and-run with property damage, both as misdemeanors. The defendant is now in custody on a no-bail hold.
Judge Bowman denied a defense request to reduce the current charge to a misdemeanor, and ordered Rodriguez back to court on July 23 to set a date for trial.