‘Prolific’ auto burglary suspect enters not guilty plea

A San Bruno man indicted by a grand jury on 20 counts related to an alleged auto burglary spree pleaded not guilty Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court.

Prosecutors have described Deshawn Patton, 21, as a “prolific auto burglar” for allegedly burglarizing vehicles between 2016 and 2017. The indictment against him was handed down Thursday, prosecutors said.

Patton has been indicted on 11 felonies, including eight counts of auto burglary, one of receiving stolen property, one of resisting an executive officer, and one of hit-and-run causing injury.

He was also indicted on nine misdemeanors, including two counts of receiving stolen property, one of possession of a burglary tool, one of unauthorized use of radio communication, three of resisting police officers, one of theft and one of hit-and-run causing property damage.

“A case like this doesn’t happen by accident,” District Attorney George Gascon said, explaining that his office worked for months to bring the indictment against Patton.

“Auto burglaries in the city are primarily being driven by organized groups. They’re breaking into many, many vehicles. This property is being fenced through an organized network of people who are selling the stolen property,” Gascon said.

According to the district attorney’s office, the alleged auto burglaries occurred between April 12, 2016, and May 18, 2017. Of the eight cases Patton is accused of, six involved victims from out of town and six involved rental cars.

On four different occasions officers tried to arrest Patton, but he fled each time, once by ramming a police car, another time by ramming a vehicle he had just burglarized and another time by running on foot, prosecutors said.

Patton has been arrested since the crimes began, but had posted bail afterward.

Prosecutors filed a bail source motion to ensure that Patton wouldn’t be able to use illegally obtained funds to post bail. According to jail records, he has now been in custody since November.

“We knew that he was going to bail, we knew that he had the money to bail. And where was the money coming from? Guess what, it was coming from stealing and ripping people off,” Gascon said.

A judge has set a trial date for Patton for June 11. Patton, however, must appear before that for a pretrial hearing on May 18.

Defense attorney Lisa Dewberry wasn’t immediately available for comment on the case.

-Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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